Becoming a Mother after Cancer…
In this difficult fight against the disease, I was fortunate to have the support of my two daughters: Lisa and Cécile. Today I can measure the happiness of having had the opportunity to bear a child, to give birth and to become a mother.
However, I think of all these young women, these fighting sisters, for whom the desire to be a mother becomes a new obstacle course.
Cancer is affecting younger and younger women. While it is detected earlier and more and more people survive this disease, it is a real and lasting trauma in their lives and those of their loved ones with sometimes irreversible and indelible consequences.
Chemotherapy and other cancer treatments have a negative impact on the desire for and possibility of having children. For many women, cancer deprives them of this future project. However, depending on the situation, there are solutions to preserve the fertility of cancer patients.
The Law of 6 August 2004 on bioethics (Law No. 2004-800) states that “any person, male or female, exposed to care that may impair their reproductive function may be entitled to the preservation of their gametes and germ tissues”. “
The 2014-2019 Cancer Plan also plans to systematize information for patients and facilitate access to fertility preservation platforms.
Nevertheless, in such a situation, you have to act fast. While they have to face the shock of the announcement of the disease, they must, when they have the opportunity and they are properly informed as well as monitored, make the decision to preserve their fertility or not.
How can we project ourselves into the future or consider giving life, when ours is in danger and for many, the question had not yet arisen?
The fight against the disease precedes a future fight, one of power, if one wishes to become a mother, despite the treatments that compromise this perspective.
Indeed, despite the preservation of fertility, women on anti-hormonal treatment are also forced to postpone the moment of considering pregnancy because hormone therapy is teratogenic, in other words, it is likely to induce malformations in the child (source Institut Curie).
Different preservation techniques can be used to collect gametes or germ tissue that will be stored and used after anti-cancer treatment as part of medically assisted reproduction (MAC): oocyte storage, embryo storage, ovarian tissue storage.
However, it is not possible to guarantee a successful subsequent use of the cells and tissues collected, but this gives women the opportunity to carry out a parental project after the disease if they so wish. (source Oncorif)
Many medical teams are organizing themselves to enable women and couples not to give up on this project for the future. LA CLINIQUE MATHILDE in Rouen, where I was treated during my cancer, is one of the institutions that offers this solution.
Unfortunately, information about these opportunities and access to these services for women with cancer is still very unequal across regions.
In this month of Pink October, I would like to raise awareness and inform women about the possibilities of after cancer fertility treatment. Because better prevention leads to better resilience.
Also, OZALYS has decided to support the association Les Seintillantes created by Julie Roset, a biologist and head of the medical assistance centre for procreation and fertility preservation at LA CLINIQUE MATHILDE and Séverine Ouvry, trainer and personal development coach. This association promotes the fight against breast cancer and raises awareness of the difficulties faced by the women concerned.
And there are many of them.
Since the creation of Ozalys, my desire has been to inform and campaign tirelessly to overcome the taboos related to women’s cancers during and after the disease. With the conviction that nothing is impossible and even more so becoming a mother after cancer, for those who would like it and are able, because they are well informed and supported in this extraordinary resilience project.