By Lynne Adkins

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — A local cancer treatment center and a fertility clinic are working together to make sure that cancer patients have the chance to start a family after treatment.

Radiation, chemotherapy, and surgery can affect fertility in both men and women, and for cancer patients in their childbearing years who are hoping for a family, losing that choice can be devastating.

Now, Cancer Treatment Centers of America is working with Main Line Fertility to help patients preserve their options before treatment begins.

Dr. Nicole Longo, director of CTCA’s oncofertility preservation progam, says even though cancer treatment can take a long time, that isn’t the issue.

“The wonderful thing is that you can store eggs, sperm, and embryos indefinitely,” she notes.  “There was a case at the Main Line Center where they had stored an embryo for greater than 12 years, and they had a successful, viable pregnancy after that time.”

The centers will also work with fertility clinics in the patient’s hometown, she says.

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