Background Mb Hodgkin is one of the most common cancers in the young population. With improved treatment, survival-rates have reached >80%. One of the late medical sequelae chemo- and radiotherapy may cause, is premature ovarian failure (POF). POF leads to loss of fertility and decrease in the production of oestrogen, and might have enormous consequences on life-quality and future health. Purposes To evaluate the prevalence of POF, and explore how certain risk factors like age and type of chemotherapy influence the development of POF.
Materials and methods 100 women, treated at DNR (Det Norske Radiumhospital) between 1979 and 1992, all were < or = 40 years at the time of diagnosis. A self-reported standardized questionnaire, was used. Blood samples monitored their ovarian function in 2001/2002. The statistical data were analyzed using SPSS. Results 28 women (28 %) have developed POF. The difference in prevalence between age-groups is insignificant (p >0.05). However younger women develop POF several years after treatment (median 15.5 years) in contrast to those over 25, who tend to develop POF shortly after treatment (median 1 year). There is a significantly increased risk of developing POF among women treated with alkylating agents, compared to other chemotherapeutic agents (p =0). Conclusion POF is a common long-term sequelae after cancer-treatment. As the number of young cancer-survivors increases, the possibility of POF and infertility among women needs to be acknowledged by the primary physicians who meet these patients.