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ABC News: SGF Patient Becomes Sister’s Surrogate after Breast Cancer Diagnosis

Last year, ABC News featured an article on Shady Grove Fertility patient, Randi Fishman, and her unique story of surrogacy after a devastating re-occurrence of breast cancer.

Fishman’s own sister, Erin Silverman, stepped in and elected to carry her child once she was finished having children of her own. After Fishman’s first breast cancer diagnosis, she decided to freeze her embryos, which were tested for the BRCA1 gene. Thanks to the amazing technology offered through genetic testing of the embryos before the embryo transfer to Silverman, only the embryos that tested negative for the mutation were used.

Shady Grove Fertility physician Dr. Jeanne O’Brien from SGF’s Rockville, MD location spoke about her experience caring for both Fishman and Silverman:

“This was an amazing experience to help a couple facing a devastating diagnosis preserve their ability to not only have children but children that would not face the genetic cancer risk of the BRCA gene,” Dr. O’Brien told ABC News. “The involvement of Randi’s sister strengthened the shared commitment to achieving another successful pregnancy. I’m grateful to have been their physician.”

Planning for Pregnancy Prior to Cancer Treatment

Receiving a cancer diagnosis at any age is excruciating, but for young women in their 20s, 30s, and younger, there are additional concerns that need to be addressed fairly quickly as some effective cancer treatments can permanently damage fertility. Fortunately, advances in fertility preservation have made it possible for patients with cancer to preserve their options but these options must be considered before cancer treatment can begin.

At SGF, we have a specially trained team that works specifically with people with cancer. We will work directly with the oncology team to ensure we expedite fertility preservation so that cancer treatment can quickly begin. The oncofertility team at SGF helps to guide patients through each step of the treatment process, from finding ways to afford treatment to the actual medical procedure. Due to the time sensitivity with treatment, patients can expect an expedited treatment plan and to see a physician for consultation as soon as possible.

Prior to cancer treatment, patients have the opportunity to freeze eggs, embryos, or sperm.


If you would like to learn more about our oncofertility treatment options or to schedule an appointment, please call our New Patient Center at 1-877-971-7755 or complete this brief online form.


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