October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and we’re diving into an aspect of breast cancer that’s frequently overlooked. The treatments for cancer (such as chemotherapy, radiation, and other drugs) can put fertility at risk for women in reproductive age.
One drug in particular, Tamoxifen, is taken for a number of years and helps treat and prevent breast cancer from developing. You shouldn’t try to conceive while taking Tamoxifen.
However, there’s a solution; some can take a “drug holiday” or break from medication. Typically, the break can last up to a year, meaning you shouldn’t try to conceive until a few months after using the drug. That also means there’s only a short window for someone to conceive.
People often consider fertility preservation, or egg/embryo freezing, because of the risks and time constraints while dealing with cancer. Just in case you don’t have a healthy pregnancy, fertility preservation is often seen as a safety net so you can move forward with an embryo transfer. It’s an important option to have, but unfortunately, not everyone knows about this until it’s too late.
Today’s guests, Emily Rich and Ian Schwartz, dive into what it was like for Emily to be diagnosed with breast cancer, their journey with fertility preservation, and how their fertility benefit helped them through this journey.
Guests: Emily Rich, VP of Strategic Planning and Operations at UJA and Progyny Member, and Ian Schwartz, VP Tailgate and AE Men’s Graphics at American Eagle Outfitters.
Host: Lissa Kline, VP of Member and Provider Services at Progyny.
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Lissa oversees the Patient Care Advocates and the Provider Relations Team. She worked at Columbia University Medical Center for several years 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
Two months after moving across the country with her fiancé for work, 32-year-old nonprofit executive, Emily Rich, was diagnosed with a rare form of breast cancer. She and her husband had never thought about preserving their fertility until they were faced with the risk of losing it. With the help of Progyny and an extraordinary team of Oncofertility specialists, Emily and Ian are prepared for their future family plans – whatever they may be. A strong advocate for empowering women, Emily is passionate about urging women to listen to their bodies, become their own healthcare advocates, and support each other through all of life’s challenges.
Music From This Episode:
Artist: Soft and Furious
Track: Melancholic Ending
Artist: Alpha Hydrae
Track: Keratine rust and a clear soul
Artist: Andy G Cohen
Track: Bathed in Fine Dust
Artist: Rest You Sleeping Giant
Track: End of Winter
Artist: Kai Engel
Artist: P C III
Artist: John Woodward
Track: Under the Stairs Instrumental Version
Track: The Gloaming Instrumental Version
Artist: Loyalty Free Music
Track: I care