Washington, D.C. – Shady Grove Fertility (SGF) honors National Breast Cancer Awareness Month in partnership with breast cancer advocate and Previvor Founder, Allyn Rose, by expanding awareness of advancements in fertility treatment. Through preimplantation genetic testing, couples can have peace of mind knowing that genetic mutations that can lead to inherited conditions and disease have a strong chance of ending with their generation.
The month of October serves as an important reminder that this year, an estimated 700,000 people in the U.S. will be diagnosed with breast cancer, of which, up to 10 percent of cases are linked to an inherited gene mutation.
“In the last letter that my mother wrote to me before her passing from metastatic breast cancer at age 50, she warned me of my family’s predisposition to cancer and rare diseases, encouraging me to undergo in vitro fertilization (IVF) treatment to eliminate this disease,” says Rose, a former Miss USA and Miss America contestant, model, and the recipient of the 21st Annual Congress on Women’s Health’s Advocacy Award and a Breast Cancer Summit Lifetime Achievement Award. “Her forethought, 16 years prior to today, was the catalyst for me to take charge of my reproductive health.”
SGF is the largest fertility center in the U.S. with 37 locations and home to more than 85,000 babies born. SGF offers patients the opportunity to screen for over 280 recessive gene mutations, including diseases such as cystic fibrosis, Tay-Sachs disease, and spinal muscular atrophy. In addition, patients at risk for dominant gene mutations, such as breast cancer or inherited forms of colon cancer, can have individualized testing for these diseases.
Couples with known genetic diseases can turn to in vitro fertilization (IVF) with preimplantation genetic testing for monogenic/single gene defects (PGT-M) to reduce the risk of passing that mutation onto their child(ren).
In 2019, a partnership between SGF and Rose blossomed to educate patients of these interventions and the availability of fertility preservation prior to any cancer treatment by sharing Rose’s personal journey. Not only did a 16-year-old Rose cope with the loss of her mother from breast cancer at a young age, she also experienced the passing of her grandmother and great aunt to the same fate.
It was from these events that Rose made nationwide headlines with her decision to undergo a preventative (prophylactic) double (bilateral) mastectomy to prolong her life, despite not being a carrier for a genetic breast mutation. Rose’s personal experience soon became a platform that encouraged other women to seek preventive healthcare, including her #SelfExamGram social media movement that reminds women to perform routine self-breast exams.
“I knew that my journey of preventive healthcare didn’t end with my mastectomy,” says Rose. “I’m also a carrier of another very rare X-linked genetic mutation called Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome. This genetic mutation would affect 50% of my male children and 50% of my female children would be carriers of the disease like me. If I was taking steps to prolong my own life, it only made sense that I would do the same for my future children.”
Last October, Rose started her IVF journey with Kate Devine, M.D. at SGF’s Washington, D.C. – K Street location, opting to undergo PGT-M to reduce the risk of having a child with an inherited condition. Rose is documenting her journey to motherhood with Dr. Devine and SGF in hopes that it will lift the veil of the unknown associated with infertility treatment while serving as a reminder to women to be their own advocates.
“The thing I love about SGF, and what I think makes them stand out, is that a large number of their staff have undergone fertility treatments themselves,” says Rose. “I really appreciated that because I felt like they actually understood what I was going through and when they told me that I would be okay – they meant it.”
This past July, ironically on the 16th anniversary of the passing of Rose’s mother, she announced she was pregnant with her first child after completing 10 months of IVF treatment with SGF.
“Allyn’s story is a powerful reminder to women everywhere that they’re not alone,” says Dr. Devine. “IVF with PGT-M is a safe and reliable means of fertility treatment for women who want to reduce risk of known genetic mutations in their children. I’m so happy that Allyn and her husband will soon welcome a baby who’s free of Wiskott-Aldrich gene mutations.”
While Rose is cancer-free, SGF has a specially trained team that works specifically with people with cancer to ensure the fertility preservation process before cancer treatment can be expedited in order 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.
If you would like to learn more about SGF’s oncofertility treatment options or to schedule an appointment, please call the New Patient Center at 1-888-761-1967 or complete this brief online form.
About Shady Grove Fertility (SGF)
SGF is a leading fertility and IVF center of excellence with more than 85,000 babies born and 5,000+ 5-star patient reviews. With 37 locations throughout FL, GA, MD, NY, PA, VA, D.C., and Santiago, Chile, we offer patients virtual physician consults, deliver individualized care, accept most insurance plans, and make treatment affordable through innovative financial options, including 100% refund guarantees. More physicians refer their patients to SGF than any other center. Call 1-888-761-1967 or visit ShadyGroveFertility.com.