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Burgman, Maximiliane; Hermelink, Kerstin; Farr, Alex; Meegen, Friederike van; Heiduschk, Annika; Engel, Jutta; Kolben, Thomas; Degenhardt, Tom; Ditsch, Nina; Mahner, Sven; Harbeck, Nadia; Würstlein, Rachel (2018): Evaluation of Reproductive Concerns and Biographical Impact of Breast Cancer in Young Patients. In: Breast Care, Vol. 13, No. 2: pp. 126-130
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Background This study evaluates interventions offered to young breast cancer (BC) patients, including fertility preservation, genetic testing, and counseling for parenthood concerns, and analyzes the effect of BC on biographical issues. Methods Women who were diagnosed with BC at the age of 18-40 years and who underwent treatment at the Breast Center, Ludwig-Maximilian University (LMU) in Munich between 2006 and 2013, were eligible for this study. Patients received a self-developed questionnaire which covered the following topics: fertility preservation, family planning, genetic testing, parenthood concerns and children's needs, partnership status, and employment situation. Results Re-evaluating their initial decision on fertility preservation, 76.4% of patients reported satisfaction with their decision. After BC diagnosis, 45.8% reported to have maternal desire, but only 21.7% actually planned to have children. 41.7% of patients missed sufficient counseling regarding parenthood concerns. Analysis of individual employment situations showed that the time period until the return to work was longer in patients who received chemotherapy. The majority of patients (71.6%) did not report changes in their partnership status. Conclusion Young BC survivors report a lack of communication related to parenthood concerns and future conception, but are satisfied with counseling regarding fertility preservation and genetics.