Medics in Southampton perform pioneering surgery on cancer girls

Daily Echo: New motherhood hope for cancer girls New motherhood hope for cancer girls

MEDICS in Southampton are performing a pioneering procedure that offers new hope to cancer patients who feared their treatment would end any chances of having a family.

For the first time in Hampshire, young girls and babies faced with the devastating diagnosis can have their fertility saved before undergoing treatment.

The Complete Fertility Centre, based at the Princess Anne Hospital, is one of only a few clinics in the UK offering this groundbreaking technique known as ovarian cryopreservation, as well as embryo and egg freezing, which it has also launched.

Consultant gynaecologist Dr Kirsten Schmidt, who pioneered the procedure while working at the University Hospital of Copenhagen, has been drafted into Southampton to launch the new treatments which have proved a huge success in Denmark over the past ten years.

The technique involves removing and freezing one of the patient’s healthy ovaries containing eggs before they start treatment, such as radiotherapy or chemotherapy, which can permanently damage the reproductive organs or cause premature menopause.

Once a patient has completed their course of treatment and is either in remission or of child-bearing age, the ovarian tissue strips are thawed and either reimplanted into the other ovary to allow them to try to conceive naturally or the eggs are retrieved and used for IVF treatment.

Before ovarian cryopreservation, babies and young girls who had not reached child-bearing age had no chance of saving their fertility, as egg and embryo freezing could only be carried out on women.

Dr Schmidt said: “This is the only alternative for young girls and to be honest there is no lower age limit for this.

“This service definitely meets a need. It is one of only a few clinics in the UK to offer it and I am thrilled to be able to offer my expertise to launch this here in Southampton."

The procedure costs between £4,000 and £5,000 but there are discussions with the NHS about providing the funding.

Comments (7)

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6:14am Tue 19 Jun 12

Verloren Hoop says...

Yound girls with a predisposition to cancer can now have babies?
Yound girls with a predisposition to cancer can now have babies? Verloren Hoop
  • Score: 0

7:55am Tue 19 Jun 12

sburman says...

I know I’m going to get ear’old for this but here goes anyway.

Not all women can have children, that is nature’s way. Why are we interfering with that theory at a cost to the health care system that should be looking after proper sick people - These women are not ill they just can’t conceive
for what ever reason
I know I’m going to get ear’old for this but here goes anyway. Not all women can have children, that is nature’s way. Why are we interfering with that theory at a cost to the health care system that should be looking after proper sick people - These women are not ill they just can’t conceive for what ever reason sburman
  • Score: 0

8:30am Tue 19 Jun 12

Verloren Hoop says...

Young not Yound
Young not Yound Verloren Hoop
  • Score: 0

10:00am Tue 19 Jun 12

Georgem says...

sburman wrote:
I know I’m going to get ear’old for this but here goes anyway.

Not all women can have children, that is nature’s way. Why are we interfering with that theory at a cost to the health care system that should be looking after proper sick people - These women are not ill they just can’t conceive
for what ever reason
Well, the counter to the whole "interfering with nature" argument is that WE are also part of "nature", and us evolving to a point where we can conceive of, and carry out, complex medical procedures like this, is just another evolutionary step.

Just sayin'
[quote][p][bold]sburman[/bold] wrote: I know I’m going to get ear’old for this but here goes anyway. Not all women can have children, that is nature’s way. Why are we interfering with that theory at a cost to the health care system that should be looking after proper sick people - These women are not ill they just can’t conceive for what ever reason[/p][/quote]Well, the counter to the whole "interfering with nature" argument is that WE are also part of "nature", and us evolving to a point where we can conceive of, and carry out, complex medical procedures like this, is just another evolutionary step. Just sayin' Georgem
  • Score: 0

11:32am Tue 19 Jun 12

Icklelady says...

Sburman - (PC won't let me quote).

However...

"Proper sick people" ...? What do you class as proper sick people?

Going through the emotional strain of cancer is extremely difficult. And to be told you are infertile is devastating for most. It isn't just "physical illness" that should be treated and cared for, but emotional too. This procedure can help thousands of women avoid going through the heartbreak and emotional trauma of cancer and being infertile.
Sburman - (PC won't let me quote). However... "Proper sick people" ...? What do you class as proper sick people? Going through the emotional strain of cancer is extremely difficult. And to be told you are infertile is devastating for most. It isn't just "physical illness" that should be treated and cared for, but emotional too. This procedure can help thousands of women avoid going through the heartbreak and emotional trauma of cancer and being infertile. Icklelady
  • Score: 0

1:01pm Tue 19 Jun 12

bemused26 says...

sburman wrote:
I know I’m going to get ear’old for this but here goes anyway.

Not all women can have children, that is nature’s way. Why are we interfering with that theory at a cost to the health care system that should be looking after proper sick people - These women are not ill they just can’t conceive
for what ever reason
No- this is not about women not being able to conceive naturally, it is about the *cancer treatment* radiotherapy or chemotherapy that kills their reproductive organs. Getting rid of the cancer is what makes them unable to conceive.
[quote][p][bold]sburman[/bold] wrote: I know I’m going to get ear’old for this but here goes anyway. Not all women can have children, that is nature’s way. Why are we interfering with that theory at a cost to the health care system that should be looking after proper sick people - These women are not ill they just can’t conceive for what ever reason[/p][/quote]No- this is not about women not being able to conceive naturally, it is about the *cancer treatment* radiotherapy or chemotherapy that kills their reproductive organs. Getting rid of the cancer is what makes them unable to conceive. bemused26
  • Score: 0

1:09pm Tue 19 Jun 12

WessexCancerTrust says...

Sally Hall CEO of Wessex Cancer Trust says:
For a young woman to learn that cancer, or treatment to tackle cancer, may result in permanent infertility is devastating. We at Wessex Cancer Trust think it is wonderful that Southampton is at the forefront of this technology, offering hope to countless women who have just been told the worst news of their lives. Contact us for practical help www.wessexcancer.org
Sally Hall CEO of Wessex Cancer Trust says: For a young woman to learn that cancer, or treatment to tackle cancer, may result in permanent infertility is devastating. We at Wessex Cancer Trust think it is wonderful that Southampton is at the forefront of this technology, offering hope to countless women who have just been told the worst news of their lives. Contact us for practical help www.wessexcancer.org WessexCancerTrust
  • Score: 0

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