Purpose: This study describes the prevalence of fertility preservation (FP) knowledge, discussions, and engagement in a heterogeneous sample of Canadians diagnosed with cancer in young adulthood and tests the relationship of these variables with later post-traumatic growth (PTG). Methods: Data were taken from the Young Adults with Cancer in their Prime (YACPRIME) study, a national cross-sectional survey of Canadians diagnosed with cancer as young adults. This subanalysis included 463 individuals, ages 20–39 years (mean = 30.28, standard deviation = 4.68, 88% female), diagnosed after 2006. Participants self-reported demographics, responded to questions regarding their experience with FP, and completed the PTG inventory. Results: In total, 81% reported awareness of risk, 52% discussed FP, and 13% pursued FP. PTG was higher for those with knowledge of fertility risk [F (3, 455) = 3.26, p = 0.021], when controlling for sex and on treatment status, but did not differ between those who discussed FP versus not, or made arrangements versus not. Those who reported not engaging in FP because of their own choice [F(3, 402) = 5.98; p = 0.001] or their doctor’s recommendation not to delay treatment [F(3, 402) = 3.25; p = 0.022] reported significantly higher PTG, when controlling for sex and on-treatment status. Financial reasons, lack of knowledge about FP, and age were not related to PTG. Conclusions: This study demonstrates that FP discussions and uptake remain low, highlighting the need for continued education and efforts to improve access to intervention. Knowledge of risk, along with making the choice to prioritize treatment over FP, was related to higher PTG, suggesting informed decisions made early in treatment may support positive psychosocial outcomes.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
- Fertility preservation
- Post-traumatic growth
- Psychosocial outcomes