What sort of ways can cancer affect fertility?

While few cancers themselves have been shown to affect fertility, some cancer treatments can affect fertility in both men and women. Cancer treatments, such as different types of chemotherapy, radiation and surgery to the bladder, testicles, lymph nodes in the pelvis, uterus or ovaries, have been linked to temporary or permanent infertility.

It’s important to talk to your doctor before you begin any of these treatments to explore your fertility preservation options.

Fertility-preserving options for men include sperm cryopreservation (sperm banking) and protecting the testes from radiation, if the cancer is in another area, during radiation.

Fertility-preserving options for women include embryo cryopreservation, oocyte (unfertilized egg) cryopreservation, ovarian tissue preservation and protecting the ovaries, if the cancer is in another area, during radiation.

For more information, contact Courtney Britton, librarian at Cancer Services of Greater Baton Rouge, at (225) 927-2273, cbritton@cancerservices.org, or visit the Education Center at 550 Lobdell Ave., Baton Rouge.

ä Internet Resources:

American Society for Clinical Oncology, cancer.net

Fertile Hope, initiative of the Livestrong Foundation, fertilehope.org

This column is presented as a service by Cancer Services of Greater Baton Rouge, a United Way affiliate.