Each year, >45,000 U.S. women are diagnosed with cancer during adolescence and young adulthood (AYA), defined by the National Cancer Institute as ages 15–39 years. ASCO first published guidelines on fertility counseling and preservation for cancer patients in 2006. Few studies have assessed birth rates after cancer among AYAs. We identified women with an incident cancer diagnosis at ages 15–39 during 2000–2013 in the North Carolina Cancer Registry. Cancer records were linked with statewide birth certificates through 2014 using a probabilistic algorithm. Hazard ratios (HR) and 95% confidence intervals (CI) for childbirth were calculated using Cox proportional hazards regression, with person-time accrued from cancer diagnosis until death, 46th birthday or December 31, 2014 and adjusted for age at diagnosis. Among 19,507 AYA cancer survivors, 2,343 had ≥1 post-diagnosis birth during 110,216 person-years. The 5- and 10-year cumulative incidence of post-diagnosis birth was 12% and 18%, respectively. The most common cancers were breast (25%), thyroid (14%), gynecologic (10%), melanoma (10%), and lymphoma (7%). The percent with a birth after diagnosis was lowest for breast and gynecologic cancer (6% for both) and highest for Hodgkin lymphoma (23%) and melanoma (24%). Survivors with a birth after diagnosis were more often younger, had not received radiation or chemotherapy, and had lower stage disease. African American women were less likely to have a post-diagnosis birth than white women overall (HR = 0.82; 0.73, 0.92), due in part to a higher proportion of breast cancers (35% vs. 23%). About 30% of births were <2 years from cancer diagnosis and 20% were >5 years after (mean = 3.5 years). Half (48%) were to women who were nulliparous at diagnosis. The 5-year cumulative incidence of post-diagnosis birth was 11.7% for women diagnosed during 2007–2012 (after ASCO's 2006 guidelines), compared to 11.6% during 2000–2005 (HR = 0.98; 0.89, 1.08) and varied little by cancer type. Despite advances in fertility preservation options and recognition of fertility counseling as a part of high quality cancer care, birth rates have remained stable over the last 15 years. Low implementation of fertility counseling and limited access to fertility preservation may be contributing factors.
The following are the 16 highest scoring abstracts of those submitted for presentation at the 41st Annual ASPO meeting held March 12–14, 2017, in Seattle, WA.
- ©2017 American Association for Cancer Research.