How can cancer affect fertility?

You may have heard that cancer can reduce fertility. While this is true for cancers that affect the reproductive organs, such as cancer of the uterus or testicles, other cancers may not directly cause infertility. In most cases, infertility is actually caused by the treatment for the cancer, such as chemotherapy or radiation, rather than the cancer itself. It is important to understand that while cancer treatments can be very effective, they can cause side effects that harm the ability to reproduce.

Remember: Concerns about fertility are valid and important, especially in planning for life after cancer. If you have been diagnosed with a cancer of the reproductive tract or you are concerned about the possible effect of cancer treatment on your future fertility, start by visiting the sections of this Web site that describe your options for preserving fertility before you begin treatment. This information may help you prepare to speak with your doctor about the options that are appropriate for and available to you.