Journal of Cancer Survivorship

, Volume 4, Issue 3, pp 266–273 | Cite as

Fertility among testicular cancer survivors: a case-control study in the U.S.

  • Christopher Kim
  • Katherine A. McGlynn
  • Ruth McCorkle
  • Tongzhang Zheng
  • Ralph L. Erickson
  • David W. Niebuhr
  • Shuangge Ma
  • Yaqun Zhang
  • Yana Bai
  • Li Dai
  • Barry I. Graubard
  • Briseis Kilfoy
  • Kathryn Hughes Barry
  • Yawei Zhang
Article

Abstract

Introduction

Testicular germ cell tumors (TGCT) disproportionately affect men between the ages of 15 and 49 years, when reproduction is typical. Although TGCT treatment directly affects gonadal tissues, it remains unclear whether there are long-term effects on fertility.

Methods

To examine post-TGCT treatment fertility, study participants in a previously conducted case-control study were contacted. The men were initially enrolled in the US Servicemen’s Testicular Tumor Environmental and Endocrine Determinants (STEED) study between 2002 and 2005. A total of 246 TGCT cases and 236 controls participated in the current study and completed a self-administered questionnaire in 2008–2009.

Results

TGCT cases were significantly more likely than controls to experience fertility distress (OR 5.23; 95% CI 1.99–13.76) and difficulty in fathering children (OR 6.41; 2.72–15.13). Cases were also more likely to be tested for infertility (OR 3.65; 95% CI 1.55–8.59). Cases, however, did not differ from controls in actually fathering children (OR 1.37; 95% CI 0.88–2.15). These findings were predominantly observed among nonseminoma cases and cases treated with surgery only or surgery-plus-chemotherapy.

Discussion

While expressing greater fertility distress, higher likelihood of fertility testing, and difficulty fathering children, these data suggest that TGCT survivors are no less likely to father children than are other men. It is possible that treatment for TGCT does not permanently affect fertility or, alternatively, that TGCT survivors attempt to father children with greater persistence or at younger ages than do other men.

Keywords

Fertility Testicular cancer Epidemiology 

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Christopher Kim
    • 1
  • Katherine A. McGlynn
    • 2
  • Ruth McCorkle
    • 3
  • Tongzhang Zheng
    • 2
  • Ralph L. Erickson
    • 4
  • David W. Niebuhr
    • 4
  • Shuangge Ma
    • 1
  • Yaqun Zhang
    • 1
    • 5
  • Yana Bai
    • 1
    • 6
  • Li Dai
    • 1
    • 7
  • Barry I. Graubard
    • 2
  • Briseis Kilfoy
    • 2
  • Kathryn Hughes Barry
    • 1
    • 2
  • Yawei Zhang
    • 1
  1. 1.Yale School of Public HealthYale UniversityNew HavenUSA
  2. 2.Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics, National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health, Department of Health and Human ServicesRockvilleUSA
  3. 3.Yale School of NursingYale UniversityNew HavenUSA
  4. 4.Walter Reed Army Institute of ResearchForest GlenUSA
  5. 5.Gansu Provincial Design and Research Institute of Environmental ScienceLanzhouChina
  6. 6.Department of Epidemiology and BiostatisticsLanzhou University School of Public HealthLanzhouChina
  7. 7.National Center for Birth Defect Monitoring, West China Second University HospitalSichuan UniversityChengduChina

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