Oxon Mum Freezes Ovary Tissue Before Chemo

An Oxfordshire Mum says she was devastated cancer treatment could have stopped her having more children.

Isabelle Providence from Benson had some of her ovarian tissue frozen after being diagnosed with cancer in the hope that it would help her have another child.

The 28-year-old has urged the public to support the NHS service that helped her.

Isabelle made the call after being supported by the Fertility Preservation Service at the John Radcliffe Hospital, Oxford, which is the first of its kind in England and is funded by a charity.

Doctors removed the tissue in March, three days before beginning chemotherapy that is almost certain to leave her infertile.

The tissue has been frozen at an ultra-low temperature, a technique known as cryopreservation, so it can be re-implanted later if the Benson, Oxfordshire resident wishes to try for another child.

Eighty percent of young cancer patients today will be cured of their cancer but one in ten of the survivors will lose their ability to conceive as a result of the intensive treatment.

The service stores ovarian and pre-pubertal testicular tissue from children and young women prior to cancer treatment. Males and females who have gone through puberty can store sperm and eggs through standard NHS services.

Isabelle used the cryopreservation service because she needed to start her treatment urgently and there was not time for the hormonal stimulation required for standard treatment.

The service is provided without charge by Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (OUH) with funding from donations to the Future Fertility Trust, which is part of Oxford Radcliffe Hospitals Charitable Funds.

The Future Fertility Trust was established in 2013 and helped its 100th patient in September 2016.
Isabelle, mum to Sophia, aged two, was planning a second child when she was diagnosed with Hodgkin Lymphoma in January.

She said: “I went from being a very healthy young woman with everything ahead of me, to having an aggressive cancer and needing to start immediate chemotherapy.

“Within seconds of hearing the dreaded word cancer I felt a real chill as I immediately thought about our plans for another child. I was devastated. This was actually the thing that bothered me most about my cancer diagnosis.”

To make a donation visit www.justgiving.com/futurefertilitytrustfund

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