Oncofertility in Developing Countries

Posted June 6, 2020

Thanks to medical advances in cancer diagnosis and treatment, overall survival rates in most young women and men with this disease have significantly increased over the last four decades.

Thus, oncofertility – the intersection between oncology and reproductive medicine – have been gaining increased prominence.

Oncofertility is one of the research areas in the INCT, with focus on investigations on developing countries. In an article published in JCO Global Oncology, Dr. Fernando Marcos dos Reis and his team analyzed oncofertility practices in five countries in South America and Africa – Egypt, Tunisia, Brazil, Peru, and Panama. The objective of their study was to evaluate the problems faced by population with regard to shortage of health services, especially those related to cancer treatment and fertility.

Data collection focused on the main barriers and opportunities in these countries, collected from data of the Oncofertility Consortium network of global partners.

The results pointed out to common barriers in each country, including financial ones, such as lack of health insurance, coverage, and high direct costs to patients; lack of awareness among professionals and patients; religious restrictions; and lack of financing to help support oncofertility programs.

The study showed that, despite barriers, there are several opportunities to expand the oncofertility field in the five countries assessed. “It is important to continue involving concerned parties in developing countries, using powerful networks in the United States and in other developed countries, to help in the worldwide acceptance of oncofertility”.

According to the researcher, information on developing countries still needs to be further investigated, especially in Public Health Services.

*Mahmoud Salama; Lauren Ataman; Tamer Taha; Osama Azmy; Marouen Braham; Fatma Douik; Mohamed Khrouf; Jhenifer Kliemchen Rodrigues; Fernando M. Reis; Flor S´anchez; Sergio Romero; Mario Vega; and Teresa K. Woodruff