Sometimes you’ll find a gender gap where you least expect it.
For young men and women diagnosed with cancer, many face the prospect of chemotherapy that can leave them infertile for life.
Yet a new nationwide study by researchers at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center and Seattle Children’s reveals that young male patients were twice as likely as young women to be counseled on ways to preserve their fertility, such as freezing sperm or eggs.
And while about one-third of the male cancer patients in the study went on to bank their sperm, that fertility preservation rate was four to five times higher than that of young women cancer patients choosing to have their eggs harvested and stored, found the study, which was published online Monday by Cancer, the journal of the American Cancer Society.
“It was disappointing to hear that, but I’m not surprised,” said Rose Ibarra, a 29-year-old Seattle woman who had her eggs frozen in 2011, just two days before she began chemotherapy for stage 4 non-Hodgkin lymphoma.