Stacie Campbell was 36 when she was diagnosed with invasive breast cancer last year. Along with a mastectomy, her surgeon recommended radiation and chemotherapy. Campbell was devastated. At the urging of her oncologist, Campbell contacted Dr. Thomas Kim of CHA Fertility Center in Los Angeles about egg-freezing. Although it slightly delayed her cancer treatment and involved taking hormones - - which stimulates the development of eggs but can aggravate cancer - - the San Diego woman underwent one cycle of egg retrieval and freezing.
Dr. Carolyn D. Runowicz, director of the Carole and Ray Neag Comprehensive Cancer Center at the University of Connecticut Health Center, strongly advocates taking steps to preserve fertility before cancer treatment. But she is not yet a fan of egg-freezing. While egg-freezing is still in its infancy and remains unreliable, there are other ways for cancer patients to preserve future fertility, she said.