Speak to your medical team as early as possible in your melanoma journey
It is important to inform your medical team of your wish to have children as early as possible in your diagnosis, so they can make personalised recommendations for you. This will help you make informed decisions on your fertility. Don’t assume your doctor or nurse will ask you about fertility concerns.
What could affect your fertility?
Many cancer therapies including immunotherapies, targeted therapies, chemotherapy, and radiotherapy all have the potential to impact your fertility whilst you are receiving them and afterwards. This is because it can sometimes take a while for the treatment to completely leave your body, or the normal function of your body to return. Sometimes, in certain situations, these effects can be permanent. These effects vary by the individual drug and type of therapy.
Another important aspect of cancer care and treatment is medical scans and imaging. In general, certain types of imaging are not recommended if you are pregnant, as the ionising radiation they use can cause harm to an unborn baby.
Since the treatment you receive will vary dependent on the stage of your melanoma, we have highlighted the risks by stage below, as well as some specific things you may wish to discuss with your treating medical team.
NB: There is a whole scientific research area known as ‘oncofertility’ that focusses on preserving patient fertility during and after cancer treatment.