In a significant breakthrough, a team of doctors comprising senior oncologists in Tamil Nadu have helped a 42-year-old cancer survivor deliver a baby through the In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) method.
Some treatments for cancer, including surgery, radiation therapy and chemotherapy, have the potential to decrease fertility in a variety of ways. Permanent infertility is sometimes a long-term side effect of cancer treatment. The patient, Latha, a cancer survivor, was apprehensive about wanting to be a mother. With her medical history, she and her husband Sivakumar (the couple were married since 20 years) were contemplating such an important step.
Latha was diagnosed with carcinoma of breast and had undergone bilateral mastectomy along with chemo-radiation five years ago. Latha, after approaching the doctors, was subjected to a whole body PET scan for any evidence of metastasis and was found to be normal, and along with her Sivakumar also underwent testing.
“In April 2014, we developed an embryo with a donor egg, and sperms from Sivakumar, which were duly implanted in her. She successfully conceived a single baby, which was confirmed after four weeks by ultrasound”, Dr Chandralekha, the chief of Iswarya hospital and Fertility Centre here said.
Accordingly, the doctors had given her high-risk pregnancy care during her antenatal period to avoid complications. The growth of the baby and the well being of the mother were closely monitored and in January this year, Latha delivered a healthy male baby weighing 2.5 kg.
“This is a significant medical breakthrough and can go a long way in helping cancer surviving women to conceive and deliver healthy babies through IVF”, she added.
Doctors pointed out that there are several options for having children that both men and women can consider if they are faced with fertility issues following cancer treatment, and success rate of IVF among such couples is less. The case can prove to be a ray of hope for millions of cancer survivors.
Source - deccan herald