We’re releasing abstracts from the #YACPrime presentations held at #IPOS2019; click here for more!
Objectives: The current study seeks to describe the prevalence of fertility preservation (FP) knowledge, discussions, and engagement in a heterogeneous sample of Canadians diagnosed with cancer in young adulthood and test the relationship of these variables to later post-traumatic growth (PTG).
Methods: Data was taken from the YAC Prime study, a national cross-sectional survey of Canadians who were diagnosed with cancer between the ages of 15-39. This sub analysis included 487 individuals who were diagnosed after 2006, to coincide with the initial ASCO fertility clinical practice guidelines. Participants self-reported demographic and disease characteristics, responded to questions regarding their experience with FP, and completed the Post-Traumatic Growth Inventory.
Results: On average the sample was 43.43 years old (SD=5.38), primarily female (n = 423, 87 per cent), and self-identified as white (n=425, 87 per cent). 81 per cent reported awareness of risk, 50 per cent discussed FP, and 12 per cent pursued FP. PTG was higher for those with knowledge of fertility risk [F(1, 481)=6.49; p =.011], but did not differ between those who discussed FP vs. not, or made arrangements vs. not. Those who reported not engaging in FP because of their own choice [F(1, 422)=7.31; p =.007] or their doctor’s recommendation not to delay treatment [F(1, 422)=8.23; p =.004] reported significantly higher PTG.
Conclusion and Clinical Implications: Although awareness of risk is high, only half of young adults report having had conversations about FP with their team. The results suggest that constructing a “story” around choices made during treatment may positively influence later PTG.