At just 14 years old, Amelia Di Virgilio never considered how it would feel to discuss fertility options with her family and a gynaecologist. However, after being diagnosed with Ewing Sarcoma in 2013, 22-year-old Amelia has thanked The Royal Children’s Hospital (RCH) for providing fertility support services to oncology patients and their families.
“Children that receive a cancer diagnosis within The Royal Children’s Hospital are now spoken to about the potential impact on their fertility, which I think is so important,” Di Virgilio said.
“Whether you’re five or 15 years old, every child and their family should have the right to access these services, because it can have a lasting effect on that child’s future.”
Supported by the RCH Foundation, the RCH utilises a newly developed fertility support program to encourage effective communication between clinicians and their patients.
RCH Fertility Preservation Service Lead, Dr Yasmin Jayasinghe said, “Although it was already an international standard of care to discuss the impact that cancer treatment can have on male and female fertility, there was limited guidance to help clinicians, resulting in disparities in care.”
“Fertility traditionally wasn’t considered within the scope of practice, but now with significant advances in paediatric medicine, quality of life beyond treatment is a focus of care.
“We set out to develop a framework for clinicians to have these discussions and ultimately, provide accurate information to both the patient and their families. The clinician support provided through the Oncofertility Coordinator has been invaluable.”
For an inside look at the RCH’s oncofertility services, head along to the National Oncofertility Summit, held at The Royal Children’s Hospital on Wednesday December 4, 2019.
Tickets are available via Eventbrite.
The Second National Oncofertility Summit 2019
Wednesday December 4, 2019
8:00 am – 5:30 pm AEDT
Ella Latham Lecture Theatre,
The Royal Children’s Hospital,
50 Flemington Rd,
Parkville, Victoria 3052