ISSN: 0034-8376
eISSN: 2564-8896






Physicians' Attitudes, Knowledge, and Perceived Barriers toward Fertility Preservation in Young Breast Cancer Patients in a Developing Country



Cynthia Villarreal-Garza, Founder and Director of Joven y Fuerte: Programa para la Atención e Investigación de Mujeres Jóvenes con Cáncer de Mama en México, Mexico, Centro de Cancer de Mama, Hospital Zambrano Hellion, Tecnologico de Monterrey, Nuevo Leon, Mexico, and Departamento de Investigacion y de Tumores Mamarios, Instituto Nacional de Cancerologia, SSA, Mexico City, Mexico
Bertha Alejandra Martinez-Cannon, Joven y Fuerte: Programa para la Atención e Investigación de Mujeres Jóvenes con Cáncer de Mama, Mexico City; Centro de Cáncer de Mama, Tecnológico de Monterrey, Monterrey, N.L. Mexico
Regina Barragan-Carrillo, Joven & Fuerte: Program for the Care and Research of Young Women with Breast Cancer in Mexico, Mexico City, Mexico
Juan Enrique Bargallo-Rocha, Department of Research and Breast Tumors, Instituto Nacional de Cancerología (INCan), Mexico City, Mexico
Alejandra Platas, Department of Research and Breast Tumors, Instituto Nacional de Cancerología (INCan), Mexico City; Joven & Fuerte: Program for the Care and Research of Young Women with Breast Cancer in Mexico, Mexico City; Mexico
Omar Peña-Curiel, Centro de Cáncer de Mama, Tecnológico de Monterrey, Mexico City, Mexico
Juan Torres, Department of Research and Breast Tumors, Instituto Nacional de Cancerología (INCan), Mexico City, Mexico
Andrea Castro-Sanchez, Joven y Fuerte: Programa para la Atención e Investigación de Mujeres Jóvenes con Cáncer de Mama en México, and Cátedras CONACyT, Instituto Nacional de Cancerología, SSA, Mexico
Alejandro Mohar-Betancourt, Epidemiology Unit, Instituto Nacional de Cancerología, SSA, Mexico City, Mexico
Samuel Rivera-Rivera, Unidad de Epidemiología e Investigación Biomédica en Cáncer, INCan-UNAM, Mexico City; Department of Medical Oncology, Unidad Médica de Alta Especialidad, Hospital de Oncología, Centro Médico Nacional Siglo XXI, Mexico City; Mexico


Background: In Mexico, up to 15% of breast cancer (BC) patients are 40 years or younger. Therefore, fertility preservation and pregnancy after cancer treatment are major concerns in this population. However, no data are available regarding Mexican physicians’ knowledge and attitudes toward these issues. Objective: The objective of the study was to describe physicians’ attitudes, knowledge, and perceived barriers toward fertility preservation among young women with BC (YWBC) in a developing country. Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted among physicians attending the 2016 Mexican Society of Oncology (SMeO) Annual Meeting or affiliated to SMeO. Chi-squared tests were used to assess factors associated with a higher likelihood of disclosing infertility risks, discussing fertility preservation methods, referring to specialists, and effective counseling. Results: Of the 314 participants, 83% reported a high sense of responsibility about informing treatment-related infertility risks, 58% always informed patients about those risks, 38% always discussed fertility preservation procedures, 52% always referred interested patients to fertility specialists, and 24% wrongly considered pregnancy and GnRH analogs detrimental in YWBC. Barriers for discussing fertility preservation were costs, lack of specialists, and prognosis. Conclusions: It is crucial to promote physicians’ knowledge and to endorse policies to overcome barriers obstructing universal access to fertility preservation for YWBC in Mexico.



Keywords: Breast cancer. Young women. Fertility preservation. Pregnancy. Mexico.