In 2010, while recovering from neurosurgery, Chicago advertising executive Nicole Torrillo was diagnosed with breast cancer, discovered she had a genetic predisposition for ovarian cancer and underwent a bilateral mastectomy. Today Ms. Torrillo, 38, is celebrating the birth of her first child, a daughter, who was delivered Feb. 13 via cesarean section.

As recently as 2005, Ms. Torrillo's story might not have had such a happy ending. Eight years ago, fertility and family planning did not have a place in the course of cancer treatment—in Chicago or anywhere else.

That Ms. Torrillo was able to have that difficult conversation is thanks in large part to the staff of the Oncofertility Consortium and Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility Clinic at the Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center of Northwestern University.