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My 11 year-old niece has been diagnosed with ovarian cancer. Should/could they harvest some eggs from healthy ovary before starting chemo?

By Anonymous December 23, 2009 - 12:27pm
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Our 11-year-old niece was just diagnosed with ovarian cancer. She had a 5 lb tumor removed on friday and one ovary. after researching i see this does happen. we are also worried about her fertility after going through chemo with only one ovary left. why an 11-year-old? i had it at 25 and that was bad enough. luckily i had two children already. we are so worried about her and do not know what exact treatments will be down the road for her.

April 11, 2010 - 4:15pm
HERWriter Guide (reply to Anonymous)

Hi Anon - It's hard when any person has cancer, but especially so with the very young. It sounds like you are very concerned about your niece and wanting to provide support. Susan has provided some good information earlier in this thread which I hope will also help you. If you have questions, or just want to comment about your situation, we will be here for you. Take care, Pat

April 12, 2010 - 5:10pm
HERWriter Guide

Dear Anon

I'm so sorry to read that your niece has ovarian cancer - and at the age of 11 which is very rare. How awful for her and her family and thank you for looking out for her.

Is she having her cancerous ovary removed? And does she have one unaffected ovary?

Chemotherapy can absolutely affect a female's reproductive capabilities and some forms of chemo are worse than others. If she loses an ovary, this may also affect her chances also many women have children with only one ovary.

If her doctors believe her chemo may affect her chances of having biological children down the line, then she and her parents will have to make this decision. Even if she is very mature, an 11 year old may not grasp what infertility can really mean to a woman so her parents will have to carefully guide her, keeping in mind that the most important thing is her own health and recovery.

There is an article I'd like you to read :
Ovarian Cancer in Children : Guide for a Difficult Decision by the late Dr. Hugh R.K. Barber, M.D. It was written a long time ago and is a bit technical but is still relevant today.


You can also access a paper called "Ovarian Cancer in Children" which will give you a lot of information. You have to join to access the paper, but I believe it is free. You can find it here : https://www.researchgate.net/publication/20319183_Ovarian_cancer_in_children

The American Cancer Society also has a lot of helpful information for family members of children with cancer. You can find the section here : http://www.cancer.org/docroot/CRI/content/CRI_2_6X_Dealing_With_Diagnosis_7.asp?sitearea=CRI
They also include a guide to cancer drugs and the side effects and possible long term effects.

I hope all this information helps you and we wish a speedy recovery for your young niece. If you need anymore information, we're help to help you.

Our very best,


December 23, 2009 - 1:59pm
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous (reply to Susan Cody)

Very helpful. Thank-you so much Susan.

December 23, 2009 - 2:59pm
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