Quality statement 7: Fertility support

Quality statement

Children and young people (aged 0–24 years) with cancer are assessed for potential future fertility problems and advised about their options for fertility preservation before treatment is started.

Rationale

The late effects of cancer treatment are well-recognised and involve most organ systems. Approximately 15% of patients have a high risk of future fertility problems because of their cancer treatment. Children and young people with cancer and their parents or carers should have the risks discussed with them and be advised about their options for fertility preservation before cancer treatment starts.

Quality measures

Structure

Evidence of local arrangements to ensure that children and young people (0–24 years) with cancer are assessed for potential future fertility problems and advised about their options for fertility preservation before treatment is started.

Data source: Local data collection.

Process

The proportion of children and young people (aged 0–24 years) with cancer who are assessed for potential future fertility problems and advised about their options for fertility preservation before treatment is started.

Numerator – the number of people in the denominator who are assessed for potential future fertility problems before treatment and are advised about their options for fertility preservation.

Denominator – the number of children and young people (aged 0–24 years) diagnosed with cancer.

Data source: Local data collection.

What the quality statement means for service providers, healthcare professionals and commissioners

Service providers ensure that processes are in place for children and young people (aged 0–24 years) with cancer to be assessed for potential future fertility problems and advised about their options for fertility preservation before treatment for cancer is started.

Healthcare professionals ensure that children and young people (aged 0–24 years) with cancer are assessed for potential future fertility problems before treatment for cancer is started and are advised about their options for fertility preservation.

Commissioners ensure they commission services that assess children and young people (aged 0–24 years) with cancer for potential future fertility problems before they start cancer treatment and advise them about their options for fertility preservation.

What the quality statement means for patients, service users and carers

Children and young people with cancer have the risk of future fertility problems caused by their cancer or its treatment assessed before their treatment is started, and are given advice about their options for freezing some sperm, eggs or embryos for use at a later date (called cryopreservation).

Source guidance