“This isn’t about politics. This is about policies that will really help women and couples to build the families of their dreams.” - Episode 18 (30:36 - 30:53)
The barriers young cancer patients face in their fertility journey.
This was the topic for my latest episode of the FU Project podcast. You can listen here.
Amanda Rice has caused some great commotion in the legislative branch of the U.S. Federal government. For good reason!
Did you know that most healthcare insurance companies deny coverage for cancer patient’s fertility preservation? This social advocate and three-time cancer survivor is on a mission (a Chick Mission to be precise) to reverse this! Through her nonprofit organization, Amanda advises, educates, and fundraises to overcome the many barriers young cancer patients face. There’s plenty of work to be done, and you can help!
“Between 95-97% of cancer patients diagnosed as young adults, survive. What does life look like after you have this battle, crush and beat cancer? What’s next? Can they not have a biological family?”
- Episode 18 (6:12 - 6:38)
When Amanda was first diagnosed with breast cancer in 2014, she quickly realized a terrible trend. The waiting room is often filled with post-menopausal women and scarcely young adults.
There is a limited amount of information and resources available to young cancer patients who dream of motherhood. Let’s create a conversation to get the facts straight!
Inexperienced Doctors. Unfortunately, most cancer doctors haven’t been properly trained for pre-menopausal women. The population of 75,000 young adults diagnosed per year is relatively small. However, nothing can justify the fact that less than 50% of doctors actually speak with their young cancer patients about their fertility options.
Fertility Options. The ugly truth is a woman can become sterile after undergoing various drug therapies and cancer treatments. But there is hope! If you’re really running out of time, you have the opportunity today to manipulate your cycle and freeze your eggs. Reach out to a fertility specialist or head to ASCO, the American Society of Clinical Oncology, to see what is recommended.
Cancer Lingo. There are so many factors that could affect a young cancer patient’s fertility. A specific diagnosis of the type and location of cancer, whether it is estrogen or progesterone related, etc. will lead to a recommended plan of attack. This could include medication, chemotherapy, or radiation far away or precisely to the reproductive organs. It’s important to understand your specific case and risk profile before jumping in.
Limited Healthcare Coverage. While Amanda was able to fund her own egg preservation without coverage, she knew others wouldn’t be able to. It was out of this frustration that Chick Mission was hatched. Though the nonprofit is still fairly new, it has already funded 27 women in 4 different states and changed 6 state laws. The most recent win was the newly passed New York state budget. Thanks to Gov. Cuomo insurance companies are now mandated to cover cancer patients’ fertility preservation. It’s a huge step, and Amanda looks forward to expanding the same mission into Texas and California.
“It doesn’t take that much money to help these patients. It sounds overwhelming - $5-10,000 dollars -that’s a lot of money. But if you compare it to what happens after treatment, an insurance company would be spending hundreds and thousands of dollars to try to get these patients pregnant.” - Episode 18 (17:02 - 17:17)
There are three ways you can get involved and aid Amanda’s mission!
Join Amanda’s advocacy work politically or simply attend local events.
Make a donation! Your contribution will help offset the costs for a cancer patient’s egg preservation.
Point any young adult seeking fertility guidance through their cancer diagnosis towards Chick Mission.
If you are a young adult currently diagnosed with cancer, and wondering what’s next, then take heart. You have so many fertility options available to you! Use your voice to ask questions and advocate your needs.
Whatever this journey brings, we’ll face it together.
With thanks & love,
How to get involved
If you would like more information about The FU Project and my mission to get you pregnant so much faster and smarter than I did, please check out my website.
If you liked this episode, be sure to subscribe and leave a quick review on iTunes. It would mean the world to hear your feedback and we’d love for you to help us spread the word. There are so many women suffering in silence that could use this help and support.