Cancer patients denied fertility treatment

Cancer patients refused fertility treatment on NHS

Cancer patients are being refused fertility treatment on the NHS, say leading specialists.

Patients who are treated for cancer can become infertile so storing sperm, eggs or embryos can be their only opportunity to have children at a later stage.

The recommendation in 2004 that all patients receiving chemotherapy should be allowed access to sperm, egg and embryo storage, has not been properly implemented and there is currently no national policy on the funding for such techniques.

A new report from the Royal College of Physicians, Radiologists and, and Obstetricians and Gynaecologists suggests the NHS should fund these services, with 11,000 patients between 15 and 40 being diagnosed with cancer every year.

Further criticism came from a survey conducted by charity Cancerbackup, which emphasized the ‘postcode lottery’ for those wanting fertility procedures.

The medical report stated: ‘The working party strongly recommends that an agreed national policy and funded nationwide equity of access to resources be available.’

Dr Michael Williams, Vice-President of the Royal College of Radiologists said: ‘It is shocking that arguments over funding still limit patients’ access to fertility-preserving treatments. Sperm freezing is well established, simple and effective.’

Reading now

Popular