Written by Joanne Kelvin, RN, MSN, AOCN®
Does this scenario sound familiar?
Susan is a 35-year old survivor of non-Hodgkin Lymphoma, treated with rituximab, ifosfamide, carboplatin, and etoposide. During your assessment at her five-year follow up visit, she tearfully reports that she and her husband have been unsuccessful in trying to get pregnant for the past year. They recently had a consultation with a reproductive endocrinologist, and she has learned that she is infertile because of premature ovarian failure.
Does this patient’s experience raise any of the following questions for you?
- Did you consider her to be at risk for premature ovarian failure because of her prior treatment?
- Is there something you could have offered before treatment to increase the likelihood of her being able to have a biologic child after treatment?
- Is there something you could have done to better assess her for this risk during her previous follow-up visits?
- What can you do now to minimize the health implications of ovarian failure for this young woman and to help her adjust to this new reality?
Though premature ovarian failure is a devastating diagnosis, there is much you can do as an oncology nurse to minimize its associated health consequences. On Saturday, May 3, from 10:15 to 11:45 AM, Elaine Pottenger and I are presenting Premature Ovarian Failure: Etiology, Impact, and Management. We hope you will join us to lean how to better anticipate who is at risk, assess for associated signs and symptoms, and intervene early to effectively manage the care of young female cancer survivors.