Reproductive Health Experiences of Females Diagnosed with Young-Onset Colorectal Cancer: A Multi-Method Cross-Sectional Survey

Louise Araujo, Nevena Rebic, Hallie Dau, Lori Brotto, Manju George, Mary A. De Vera

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Objective: Given the increasing risk of young-onset colorectal cancer (yCRC) among adults under 50 years, it is important to understand impacts on reproductive health. Our objective was to assess experiences with reproductive health after yCRC diagnosis among females. Methods: We conducted a cross-sectional study among females, 18 years or older, who have been diagnosed yCRC and are able to communicate in English. Data were gathered using an online survey involving both quantitative (e.g., multiple choice) and qualitative (e.g., open-ended text) questions on pregnancy history, influence of yCRC on reproductive decisions, and experiences with reproductive healthcare. Results: Altogether, 101 females with yCRC participated, including 23 who had never been pregnant and 78 who had been pregnant. yCRC influenced family planning goals for one-third of partici-pants. Furthermore, compared to participants who completed treatment, those currently undergoing treatment had higher odds of indicating their yCRC diagnosis influenced family planning goals (adjusted odds ratio 4.93; 95% confidence interval 1.29 to 18.78). Although 53 (52.5%) participants indicated having discussions regarding reproductive health with healthcare provider(s), 44 (43.6%) did not. Content analysis of open-ended survey questions identified themes on the emotional impacts, experiences with reproductive healthcare, reproductive and family planning considerations, and the related issue of sexual health impacts of yCRC. Conclusions: Gaps in care, related to limited reproductive health discussions, influence of yCRC on family planning, and experiencing lasting reproductive health impacts highlight the need for improving reproductive healthcare, particularly for females diagnosed with yCRC.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)465-478
Number of pages14
JournalCurrent Oncology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2022
Externally publishedYes


  • Colorectal cancer
  • Pregnancy
  • Reproductive health
  • Sexual health

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology


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