Cancer & Fertility – A Youth Cancer Europe Advocacy Project - Youth Cancer Europe (YCE)

Cancer & Fertility – A Youth Cancer Europe Advocacy Project

With studies suggesting that between 40% and 80% of adult female cancer patients are at risk of becoming infertile and around 30% of male cancer patients may become sterile after treatment for cancer, increased survivorship means that the preservation of fertility is becoming an increasingly important topic for patients[1]. It’s also been suggested that fertility impairment might be considered one of the most life-altering late effects of cancer treatment, affecting the survivors’ body image, sexuality, dating relationships, marriage patterns and sense of wellbeing[2].

However, despite Europe’s ageing population and an increasing consideration for European citizens’ right to build a family, awareness of this issue remains low and discussions linking fertility and cancer are not highly placed on the European Union’s political agenda. In light of the growing momentum in the field of cancer, we wonder why Europe’s Beating Cancer Plan does not reference fertility issues even once.

Following the objectives set out in our White Paper, Youth Cancer Europe’s advocacy project focuses on building support & impacting policies through a EU Presidency contact programme, including meetings with the Permanent Representations and specific Members of the European Parliament as well as monitoring on-going legislative files and Council Conclusions/Parliamentary Actions.

Our research activities include evidence and gap mapping to assess currently accessible fertility presentation and fertility treatment options and costs across Europe, as well as a qualitative study to understand the lived experience of young adults with cancer regarding fertility preservation and fertility assistance and cancer survivors’ attitudes on building a family. YCE also launched a Survey on Awareness and Accessibility to Fertility Preservation Procedures in Europe.

If you were diagnosed with cancer as a child, adolescent or young adult, up until the age of 39, please help us advocate for better fertility preservation services across Europe by answering our 15-minute Cancer & Fertility Preservation Survey here!


[1] Knapp, Caprice A., Gwendolyn P. Quinn, and Devin Murphy. “Assessing the reproductive concerns of children and adolescents with cancer: challenges and potential solutions.” Journal of adolescent and young adult oncology 1.1 (2011): 31-35.

[2] Levine, Jennifer M., et al. “Fertility and Sexuality.” Pediatric Psycho-Oncology: A Quick Reference on the Psychosocial Dimensions of Cancer Symptom Management (2015).