Fertility and Cancer: It?s a Concern for Men, Too

Posted by Southlake on October 29th, 2016

When cancer is the diagnosis, helping people win their battles is generally the top priority. Thanks to advances in the medical arena, more and more people are living years after this diagnosis is handed down. Quality of life issues, however, also play a role in determining treatment options. Treatments, such as chemotherapy and radiation, can have long-term impacts on patients. Balancing the need to treat with more forward-thinking concerns, such as future fertility, can help patients not only battle the disease in the present, but also maintain a higher quality of life down the road.

Fertility is a major concern for many cancer patients. The topic, however, is most often considered with female patients. Males, however, are also quite likely to find fertility is an issue they’d like addressed on the front end. That concern has given rise to a recommendation that post-pubertal men be given the option to bank sperm before treatments begin.

Chemotherapy in particular can damage a man’s eventual ability to reproduce. A recent study looked at the impacts the drugs used in treatments can have on their ability to reproduce overtime and the dosage threshold that might reduce fertility. The study found that survivors treated with chemotherapy did have significant troubles conceiving. This has given rise to the recommendation for advanced action to take place.

There are a few reasons why banking sperm can prove very helpful to male cancer survivors down the road and even at the time of treatment. Here are just a few of them:

  • Lessening one pre-treatment concern – Men are often very aware of the impacts chemotherapy treatments may have on their ability to conceive. By banking sperm in advance of treatment, men can maintain more control over their reproductive futures while potentially taking this worry off the table.
  • Providing for a higher quality post-cancer life – While beating cancer will likely be the top priority after diagnosis, quality of life issues should not be overlooked. As more men and women survive this disease, making sure patients are able to lead full lives after cancer should also be a concern. Banking sperm simply keeps the family planning option intact, helping better ensure patients who want to sire children later in life have the option do so without the need for surrogates or adoption.

Cancer doesn’t have to mean an end for dreams of having a family for men or women. There are options available to assist. Giving patients the option to preserve fertility choices before treatments begin can improve long-term quality of life while easing patients’ minds as they look toward a post-cancer future.

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