How can cancer treatment affect male fertility and what can be done to preserve fertility?
You can also read the transcript of the video below.
Robert Brannigan, M.D. Professor, Urology
Feinberg School of Medicine, Northwestern University
We see a large number of men who’ve come to us with their fertility intact, but then realize that their cancer therapy, be it radiation therapy, chemotherapy, or even a combination of the two, will negatively affect their fertility. And these are the patients in whom fertility preservation is really critical on the front end because it is so very easy to preserve a semen sample by collecting the sample by ejaculation and then preserving that sample.
In retrospect, there are many patients that we’ve seen who years ago underwent cancer therapy, would’ve had an opportunity to preserve sperm on the front end before their cancer treatment was initiated, but in the end didn’t do that, and wound up subsequently having very low or no sperm in the ejaculate, thus rendering them infertile. So that’s why it’s very important that patients and physicians alike are aware of the fact that just taking a few moments to provide the patient with a chance to provide a semen sample prior to therapy really probably gives the patient the best chance for having children down the road.