Cancer and Fertility

Cancer and Fertility Research Partners

Have you or your partner been affected by cancer?

We would like to invite you to take part in a study about cancer and fertility.

This study is being conducted by the Centre for Health Research, University of Western Sydney (UWS), and is funded by the Australian Research Council, in partnership with The Cancer Council NSW (CCNSW), National Breast Cancer Foundation (NBCF), CanTeen, Westmead Hospital, Nepean Hospital, and Family Planning NSW (FPNSW).

The researchers on the study are Prof Jane Ussher (UWS), A/Prof Janette Perz (UWS), Dr Emilee Gilbert (UWS), Ms Gillian Batt (CCNSW), Dr Kendra Sundquist (CCNSW), Dr Alison Butt (NBCF), Dr Pandora Patterson (CanTeen), Dr Gerard Wain (Westmead Hospital), Ms Kim Hobbs (Westmead Hospital), Dr Laura Kirsten (Nepean Hospital), Dr Cathy Mason (Nepean Hospital), Dr Edith Weisberg (FPNSW), Ms Kathryn Nattress (UWS) and Dr Tim Wong (UWS).

To help you decide if you want to take part, it is important for you to understand why the research is being done and what it will involve. If you are under 18 years old, please read the following information carefully and talk with your parents, guardians or an adult you trust.

What is the purpose of the study?

When people have cancer, because of the treatments they receive, their chances of becoming parents are reduced. What we want to do in this study is to look at the effects that this situation can have in the context of the overall health, wellbeing and relationship satisfaction for people who have or have had cancer and their partners. We want to come up with a supportive resource that can help people with cancer and their partners in this situation.

Why are you invited?

You are invited to participate because you are a person who has/had cancer or because you are the partner of a person who has/had cancer.

Who can take part?

  • people with cancer of any age (16 years+)
  • people who have had cancer
  • intimate partners of people who have, or have had, cancer (e.g. wives, husbands, girlfriends, boyfriends)
  • you can participate even if your partner does not 
  • you can participate if you are not in a relationship

Do you have a choice?

Participation is voluntary. If you decide not to be involved, it will not affect the relationships you or your partner have with any of the organisations involved. You can change your mind and quit the study at any time and you don't have to give any reasons if you don't want to.

Your role?

If you want to take part in this study, you are asked to complete a survey, which has questions about what it means to you to have cancer or to be the partner of a person with cancer, your thoughts about being able to become a parent while dealing with your or your partner’s cancer and any treatments, your general health and wellbeing, and if you’re in a relationship, your feelings about it. As some questions are of a sensitive nature, you might want to complete the survey in private. The survey might take about 30-45 minutes to do. The link to the survey is provided at the bottom of this page.

Alternatively, if you prefer the paper form of the survey, please contact the research team on: 1800 19 20 02 (free call) or

What are the benefits/positives?

This research will give an understanding of the experiences and needs of people with cancer and their partners in the area of fertility. This knowledge will be used to develop a supportive resource that could assist people with fertility issues and concerns. 

Are there any risks?

We know answering questions or talking about cancer and the different ways it makes you feel can be difficult, so if you decide to take part in the study, we will do whatever we can to make sure you feel safe and comfortable.

If you have some discomfort or experience strong emotions after completing the survey, and feel as though you would like to talk to someone, please feel free to contact a member of the research team (Phone: 1800 19 20 02). Alternatively, see below for some numbers that you can call for help, trained staff are ready to take your call and provide the appropriate service to you.

  • The Cancer Council Helpline (Phone: 13 11 20) – Monday to Friday, 9.00am - 5.00pm
  • Lifeline Australia (Phone: 13 11 14) – 24 hour service
  • The Kids Helpline (Phone 1800 55 1800) – this is a telephone service for young people aged 5-25 years
If you are a Member of CanTeen, you can talk to your Member Liaison Officer (MLO).


Everything you give or say to us will be confidential. No one will know you have taken part in this study except those you tell or the researchers involved in the study. We will make sure no one will find out that you have taken part. All your information will be stored safely and securely at the University of Western Sydney.

Will taking part in this study cost me anything, and will I be paid?

Participation in this study will not cost you anything and there is no payment.

What will happen with the results?

We plan to talk about the results with other organisations (e.g., Cancer Council NSW, National Breast Cancer Foundation, CanTeen) so other people can learn about what it’s like having cancer and about becoming parents when they have cancer. We will do this by presenting and discussing the results with people with cancer, their partners and health professionals. Whenever we present or discuss the results, no one would know you took part in the study because your name will not be mentioned. If you want to know what we found out from the study, we can give you the results.


This study has been approved by the University of Western Sydney Human Research Ethics Committee (UWS HREC) (Project No.H9360), Cancer Council NSW HREC (Project No.260), Family Planning NSW HREC (Project No.R2012-02) and Nepean Blue Mountain Local Health District HREC (Study 12/22-HREC/12/NEPEAN/44). If you have any concerns about the conduct of the study, or your rights as a study participant, you may contact the Ethics Committee through the Research Ethics Officer on: 02 4736 0229 or

Contact details

If you have some questions and would like to know more about the study or experience any problems while on the study, please contact a member of the research team on: 1800 19 20 02 (free call) or


Participation in this study is voluntary and you’re free to withdraw from the study at any time. If you have read this information and are happy to participate in this study, please click on the button below which will take you to the survey (this signifies your consents). If you would like to participate in an interview only please click the button below and send an email to the study coordinator.

Link to Cancer Survey
Link to Partner Survey

Thank you for taking the time to consider this study.

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