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Ovary Saving Drugs

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Stephanie Moisio got a breast cancer diagnosis when she was just 29 years old. "We had talked about wanting to have a family. I think that was our biggest question. We were very concerned that we weren't going to be ever able to have children and we wanted kids."

She needed eight rounds of chemotherapy, which can trigger early menopause and lead to infertility. During her treatment doctors at the Cleveland Clinic gave Stephanie the option of taking Goserlin - a hormone blocking drug they thought might help. "Basically it is putting the woman into a temporary menopause in the hopes that by resting the ovaries during chemotherapy she will have a lower risk of long-term menopause," says Dr. Halle Moore.

A new study of 218 premenopausal women with early breast cancer finds those who were given the drug were less likely to have their ovaries fail after chemotherapy and they were also more likely to have successful pregnancies.  "I think this is practice changing. I think now that we are confident that this is a treatment that will help patients who are interested in preserving ovarian function to do so particularly those interested in future fertility."

Nine months after completing her cancer treatment, Stephanie found out she was pregnant. "We were ecstatic. Couldn't believe it."

Stephanie is now 38 - the mother of two girls - and very grateful she had the opportunity to take the hormone blocking drug. "Our whole story would be ending differently. I don't take a single day for granted. I'm very blessed that we were given the family we were given."

The new research is being presented at the annual meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology. The study also found the women who received the hormone blocking drug had better overall survival rates, but researchers say more study is needed to confirm the findings.
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