Ovarian Cancer: Fertility Preservation
Depending on the individual case and the therapies involved, the chances for ovarian cancer survivors to conceive after treatment can be limited. But thanks to our collaboration with UAB Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility Services, women have several options to preserve or restore their fertility, so that they may start a family after they complete their cancer treatment. These options include:
- In vitro fertilization (IVF) and embryo freezing: This method combines fertility medication with retrieval of the eggs prior to chemotherapy or radiation. The eggs are then fertilized through IVF, and the embryos are frozen for later use. While this is the most established and successful option, it does require precise timing, expense, and the availability of sperm.
- IVF and egg freezing: This option is available for women who may not have a partner. The eggs are harvested and frozen without being fertilized in the hopes of later using them for IVF.
- Ovarian tissue freezing: This experimental treatment option involves the retrieval of ovarian tissue for women who want a solution that does not require the time and hormone treatments necessary with IVF. The tissue is frozen and stored for reimplantation in the ovary after cancer treatment is complete, with the goal of restoring normal hormone production.
This procedure may be used to treat or diagnose several different conditions. We have listed some of these conditions below for your convenience. Please note that this is not a comprehensive list and may vary depending on your specific diagnosis.
- Supportive Care and Survivorship Clinic
- Lynne Cohen and Norma Livingston Preventive Care Program for Women's Cancer
- Comprehensive clinical evaluations for breast and ovarian cancer risk
- Comprehensive genetic counseling
- Genetic testing including multi-gene panel testing
- Screening and prevention programs
- Screening and prevention research trials
- An assessment by a physician or nurse practitioner and certified genetic counselor
- Detailed family history and assessment of genetic cancer syndrome
- Collection of serum for germ line genetic testing (when appropriate)
- Development of an appropriate screening plan with mammography, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), pelvic ultrasound, or serum-based tests
Supportive Care and Survivorship Clinic
The Supportive Care and Survivorship Clinic takes an interdisciplinary approach to caring for patients with serious illnesses, whether they are in active treatment or have completed treatment. Our goal is to help patients fulfill their maximum physical, emotional, spiritual, vocational, and social potential.
The health professionals at the Supportive Care and Survivorship Clinic help patients manage the side effects associated with cancer. Referrals to the Supportive Care and Survivorship Clinic can be made by any treating physician or nurse or by patient self-referral. A broad range of insurance is accepted.
Patient appointment scheduling is flexible and based on patient needs and other concurrent treatments. Clinic sessions are held Wednesday and Friday mornings with palliative care physicians and fellows. A physician assistant is available Monday through Friday.
Physicians and physician assistants have special expertise in complex symptom management including depression, anxiety, insomnia, fatigue, loss of appetite, pain syndromes, and others.
Nurses support patients by facilitating the clinic sessions as well as managing communication with patients. They are the front line of patient care.
Physical therapists develop individualized programs for each patient to help with coordination, balance, strength, endurance, flexibility, or range of motion. Counselors are experienced in structuring counseling sessions to meet the specific needs of each person. Individual, couple, and family sessions are available.
Nutritionists have expertise in nutrition for patients with serious illnesses.
Massage therapists are trained in all types of massage, including oncology massage, which is a specialized approach that supports the body's health before, during, and after treatment for cancer.
Our clinic is an active teaching environment with fellows, residents, and students in both medicine and nursing participating in patient care.
The UAB Supportive Care and Survivorship Clinic is located on the 3rd floor of The Kirklin Clinic.
Patients can request an appointment online or by calling UAB Healthfinder at 205.934.9999 or 800.822.8816.
Lynne Cohen and Norma Livingston Preventive Care Program for Women's Cancer
UAB’s Lynne Cohen Preventive Care Program for Women's Cancer provides comprehensive risk assessment and prevention for breast, ovarian, and uterine cancer, arming women with knowledge to make informed decisions about their cancer risk and care. Launched more than a decade ago, the clinic merges multiple medical specialties with clinical expertise and research to create one of only a few programs of its kind in the nation dedicated to women’s cancers. In addition to offering sophisticated genetic counseling and assessment, the clinic provides access to preventive interventions and clinical trials. The program is staffed by a distinguished group of medical professionals, including surgical and gynecologic oncologists, genetic counselors, nurse practitioners, and research staff, who work together to deliver the highest level of personalized care.
The Lynne Cohen Preventive Care Program for Women's Cancer offers the following services:
When you choose the Lynne Cohen Preventive Care Program for Women's Cancer, your initial one-hour visit (completed in person or soon by telemedicine) will consist of:
Kids & Video Games: How much is too much?
School is out, and the excitement of summer days spent at the pool or day camp may be wearing off for some kids. If your kids are starting to turn into video game junkies, here's what the experts say is too much screen time and some tips on cutting back.
What the Experts Say
It should come as no surprise that electronic games have the potential to influence young people, but these influences can be both positive and negative. According to an Oxford University study that polled thousands of kids age 10-15 about their gaming habits and emotional states, researchers concluded that one hour is the limit for healthy gaming. Children who played games one hour or less per day reported being more satisfied and social, while children who played between one and three hours had no significant positive or negative effects. Meanwhile, kids who played more than three hours of games per day were more prone to attention span and hyperactivity issues than their peers.
A Spanish study published in the Annals of Neurology suggests that kids who play video games for more than an hour per day are more likely to develop behavioral problems. However, kids who enjoy just an hour or two of gaming per week may actually experience cognitive benefits, such as faster response time. Researchers also conducted MRI scans of children’s brains and noticed functional brain changes in gamers that weren’t present in non-gamers.
Emotional and Physical Health
The biggest risk of prolonged video game playing for children is lack of exercise. Summer is an ideal time to enjoy the great outdoors, try new activities, and spend time with friends and family. Each additional hour that is spent on the couch and in front of a screen is a missed opportunity for exercise and living a healthy lifestyle.
The American Psychological Association confirmed that there is a definite link between playing violent video games and feelings of aggression. Although researchers can’t be sure if this aggression necessarily leads to criminal violence and delinquency, video games have been proven to decrease prosocial behavior, empathy, and sensitivity. Playing video games all day can also make children socially isolated and hinder social development skills that are key to success later in life.
A paper published in Psychology of Popular Media Culture explains how video games can affect children’s attention spans by boosting concentration in short bursts but decreasing long-term concentration abilities. However, this phenomenon isn’t just linked to video games because watching too much television can have a similar effect. A Pediatrics study found that video games and television impact children’s attention spans in the same way because modern TV shows are so exciting and fast-paced that the real world feels dull and boring. These researchers concluded that elementary school children who engaged in either activity for more than two hours per day were 67 percent more likely to have more attention span problems than their peers.
With so many exciting games being released every month, dragging your kids away from the screen can be a challenge. As a starting place, it’s important for parents to monitor their children’s video game play and steer kids towards games that have some educational value. It’s also a wise idea to put video game consoles and computers in common areas of the home instead of children’s bedrooms so that gaming activities can be monitored more easily.
You can also steer your kids towards family-friendly, multi-player games that can serve as bonding activities. For both kids and adults, the pervasive nature of social media and digital communication have led to the decline of person-to-person interactions, but there truly is no replacement for genuine human connection. Encourage your kids to join summer activities and sports teams so that they can interact with their peers in a non-virtual environment and offset any of the negative effects that may result from gaming sessions.
After letting your kids play their favorite video game for up to an hour per day, here are some fun and healthy activities to get them off the couch to fully enjoy the blissful days of summer. Break your youngster’s gaming addiction early by giving your kids options that are just as fun and engaging!
- Join a game of pick-up basketball at the local park.
- Make a new recipe together to pack for a picnic.
- Volunteer at a local charity that holds special meaning for your family.
- Spend an afternoon at a nearby museum.
- Create a masterpiece with sidewalk chalk.
- Go camping, or even just set up a tent in the backyard!
- Publish Date