Tony, the article talks about
the infertility issues in general with radiation, aside from the topic of sperm banking. I knew that part of it didnt relate to him about
the sperm banking.
How cancer treatment affects sperm production
Radical Prostatectomy, External Radiation, Brachytherapy and Cryosurgery all will destroy some or all of the prostate. It will be virtually impossible for a prostate cancer patient to ejaculate sperm after any of these treatments.
For testicular and male breast cancer patients, chemotherapy may be a more critical problem. The testicles are the organs in a man's body that produce both testosterone (the male hormone) and sperm. Chemotherapy may not affect the production of testosterone, but studies have shown that chemotherapy can damage sperm production. There is a high probability that a man will experience at least some period of infertility following chemotherapy treatment; for this reason alone, men are encouraged to consider sperm banking before any treatment for cancer is started.
Some types of cancer treatments can harm a man's fertility, either temporarily or permanently. Many chemotherapy drugs will damage a man's ability to produce sperm. Chemotherapy typically kills all sperm forming cells resulting in a condition known as azoospermia - meaning no sperm are present in the ejaculate. There are different estimates as to if or when a man's sperm count will return to near normal levels following chemotherapy. In some situations, sperm production never returns. In other cases, sperm formation will begin again within about 1 to 4 years following treatment. However, there are situations where sperm counts will remain low as long as five years after treatment has stopped. Depending on the types of anti-cancer drugs given, the dose received and the individual's own unique recovery, fertility potential may return, or the man may produce only a few sperm which may not be enough to get a partner pregnant without medical assistance.
Permanent sterility is especially common in men who are given high doses of chemotherapy before a bone-marrow or stem-cell transplant. When radiation therapy is aimed at or near a man's testicles, it may also damage sperm production. Concern also exists about the potential for birth defects in the children of men receiving radiation treatment. Whole-body irradiation, used before transplants, can also cause infertility. After radiation therapy, a man may recover his fertility, depending on the dose of radiation received by his testicles. Radiation therapy can potentially damage sperm production and it may be necessary to wait 6 to 12 months or more before attempting to conceive. With some cancer surgeries, some men may have parts of their reproductive system, such as the prostate or a testicle removed, or experience damage to the nerves important for normal ejaculation. The potential complication of some surgeries, such as retroperitoneal lymph node dissection for testis cancer, is ejaculatory problems whereby the semen no longer comes out of the penis during ejaculation; instead it goes backward into the bladder, and is eliminated through urination or does not come out at all
Post Edited (Purgatory) : 3/1/2011 12:52:28 PM (GMT-7)