Support programme launched at no cost to patient
Quironsalud Hospital in Torrevieja, through its Foundation, has set up a programme to support the preservation of fertility at no cost to cancer patients. As long as there is no medical counter indication and they meet the requirements, it is available to all patients undergoing oncological treatment up the maximum number of cases per year allocated by the Foundation Quirónsalud.
The programme is being promoted because if the increasingly young ages at which certain types of cancer are appearing, and the possibilities of remission and curing the illness thanks to the advanced treatments applied.
The objective is to make available the advances in reproductive medicine, above all in cryobiology of ovarian tissue, gametes and embryos, to preserve fertility and the chance to become parents after recovering.
Although newer cancer treatments have less side effects, radiotherapy and chemotherapy can still affect fertility. Also surgery on reproductive organs can affect fertility partially or totally.
Radiotherapy and chemotherapy are the most common causes of fertility problems in men, as both damage the semen. In the case of women fertility can also be affected by any other treatment that damages the immature eggs, unbalances the body’s hormones or injures the reproductive organs.
The programme for woman cosists of a vitrification treatment which conserves their eggs at a very low temperature without freezing thanks to an extreme increase in the viscosity of the liquid during the very high speed cooling process. The eggs are protected and submerged in liquid nitrogen to ensure their proper conservation.
In the case of men the hospital is offering to freeze semen samples in liquid nitrogen (at -196°C) so they can be stored in definitely in optimum conditions.
Patients who want to preserve their gametes before receiving treatment must inform their specialist, who will send it high priority to the Quironsalud Assisted Reproduction Institute in Valencia and Dexaeus in Murcia where it will be dealt with within 48 hours. There they will explain the next steps for the preservation and about assisted reproduction techniques for after the oncological treatment.
The preservation treatment comes at no cost and the Foundation will finance the maintenance of the gametes for five years. Once the oncological treatment is finished and the necessary time has passed according to medical criteria, the patient can undergo an assisted reproduction technique using the preserved gametes.