Episode 22: Oncofertility: Helping Patients Navigate Between Oncology and Fertility
October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and in light of this, we are dedicating four episodes to oncofertility – the bridge between oncology and reproductive research that explores and expands options for the reproductive future of cancer survivors.
In the fourth and final episode of our oncofertility series, we hear from Kristin Smith, who dedicated her life to helping educate young cancer patients about their fertility preservation options. As Program Manager for Fertility Preservation at Northwestern Medicine and the Oncofertility Consortium, Kristin helps patients navigate their treatment between their oncology team and their reproductive endocrinology team.
We’ll learn how fertility preservation has evolved over the past decade, how cancer patients are now being offered more preventive options, and how advocates like Kristin are offering individualized support to newly diagnosed patients.
Guest: Kristin Smith, Program Manager for Fertility Preservation at Northwestern Medicine
Experts: Dr. Jennifer Levine, from Alliance for Fertility Preservation and Weill Cornell Medicine, and Dr. Janet Choi from CCRM New York
Host: Lissa Kline, VP of Provider and Member Services at Progyny
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Lissa manages and oversees Progyny’s Patient Care Advocates. Prior to joining Progyny, she worked at Columbia University Medical Center in the division of Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility. Involved in Patient Services and the Donor Egg Program, she loved working with patients while they underwent fertility treatment. Lissa graduated with a Master of Science in Social Work from Columbia University.
Kristin consults with all young, newly diagnosed oncology patients at Northwestern’s Lurie Cancer Center to help each patient understand their individual fertility risk associated with treatment as well as options for fertility preservation. She works extensively with young adult oncology survivors to help each patient explore their unique family building options and reproductive health post treatment. Kristin helps run the National Physician’s Cooperative of the Oncofertility Consortium by providing support across the country to providers who participate in national fertility preservation studies and also answers the national fertility hotline to triage patients for fertility preservation across the country.
Dr. Jennifer Levine was a Principal Investigator on a study through the children’s oncology group evaluating ovarian reserve in adolescents diagnosed with lymphoma. Levine completed her residency at Yale New Haven Hospital and her fellowship at Columbia University Medical Center/MSCHONY.
After graduating Magna Cum Laude from Harvard University with an A.B. in English literature, Dr. Choi earned her medical degree from Columbia University. She remained at Columbia for her residency in Obstetrics and Gynecology. Subsequently, she completed her sub-specialty fellowship in Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility at Weill Cornell Medical College in New York. Prior to joining CCRM New York, she was on faculty at Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center where she was the director of oncofertility/fertility preservation.
Music From This Episode:
Track: I am the Coyote
Artist: Lee Rosevere
Track: We’ll Figure it Out Together
Track: Awkward Silences version a
Artist: Yan Terrien
Track: Land of comestible people