When a woman is first diagnosed with breast cancer, a million thoughts fill her mind: Do I have to get chemo? Should I get a mastectomy? How much will my insurance cover?

 

But one question that may enter her mind is whether she can ever have children after treatment.

 

That concern is something a Manhattan fertility clinic wants to change.

 

The Sher Institute for Reproductive Medicine in Midtown is offering the ability for female cancer patients to freeze their eggs — for free. It's a procedure that usually costs around $10,000.

 

Of about 50 cancer patients the clinic has treated, 15 had breast cancer, said Dr. Drew Tortoriello, Sher Institute's medical director.

 

“If they get a diagnosis, they might not do chemo for two weeks, and I can get 20 eggs out in two weeks,” Tortoriello said. “That’s potentially a few children down the road.”

Chemotherapy, or radiation, can take a toll on a body’s reproductive system, possibly leaving women infertile. But if women freeze their eggs before the process starts, it’s one way to preserve the possibility of having children some day.

The Sher Institutes are offering this service for free to any cancer patient about to start chemotherapy or radiation.

Follow Alison Bowen on Twitter @AlisonatMetro.