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New iPhone App Tells Doctors How to Save Cancer Patients' Fertility

Northwestern launches app and micro-website for healthcare providers and patients

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June 2, 2011 | by Marla Paul

CHICAGO --- Cancer treatment can destroy a patient’s fertility, but not all physicians are familiar with the risks and options to preserve it. Now there’s an app for that.

A new iPhone app, launched June 2, will give oncologists a quick reference guide for preserving the fertility of children, women and men diagnosed with cancer. The information for physicians and patients also is available on the new micro-website www.savemyfertility.org.

The app and website were created by the Oncofertility Consortium of Northwestern University, a national group of physicians and scientists dedicated to saving the fertility of cancer patients through research and education.

“Deciding how to best protect an adult’s or child’s fertility should be part of every physician’s discussion with a newly diagnosed cancer patient,” said Teresa Woodruff, director and founder of the Northwestern Oncofertility Consortium. “We created the app and SaveMyFertility to help patients and their physicians have this vitally important discussion and make much more informed decisions about fertility preservation.“

Woodruff also is chief of fertility preservation at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine and a member of the Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center of Northwestern University.

“Oncologists are the gatekeepers to fertility preservation,” Woodruff added. “Now a physician can quickly access this information when he or she is with a cancer patient. And it also allows a doctor to e-mail a fact sheet in English or Spanish to a patient.”

The app is debuting June 2 at the American Society of Clinical Oncology Annual Meeting in Chicago and at ENDO 2011, The Endocrine Society’s scientific sessions in Boston.

In addition to the app, 20,000 pocket guides on fertility preservation are being mailed to healthcare providers around the country. 

The project was developed in partnership with the Oncofertility Consortium and The Endocrine Society. It was funded by educational grants from EMD Serono and Merck.

Topics: Research