Oncofertility in Canada: the impact of cancer on fertility

R. Ronn, H.E.G. Holzer



Cancer can be a devastating diagnosis. In particular, malignancy and its indicated treatments have profoundly negative effects on the fertility of young cancer patients. Oncofertility has emerged as a new interdisciplinary field to address the issue of gonadotoxicity associated with cancer therapies and to facilitate fertility preservation. In Canada, these fertility issues are often inadequately addressed despite the availability of resources. The goal of this four-part series is to facilitate systemic improvements in fertility preservation for adolescent and young adult Canadians with a new diagnosis of cancer.


In this article, we review the gonadotoxic effects of cancer treatment on young men and women of reproductive age.


The detrimental effects of cancer on fertility can be severe and may vary depending on the chemotherapy, radiotherapy, or surgical treatments involved.


Fertility preservation should be addressed in an effort to mitigate the gonadal damage that may come with cancer therapy.


Oncofertility; fertility preservation; cryopreservation; gonadotoxicity; young adult; adolescent

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3747/co.20.1358

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ISSN: 1198-0052 (Print) ISSN: 1718-7729 (Online)