Management of Fertility in Male Cancer Patients

  • Daniel H. WilliamsIVEmail author


Cancer survival rates have improved dramatically over the last couple of decades due to advances in diagnostic techniques and therapies. Roughly 15% of cases of newly diagnosed cancer in men are in those younger than 55 years of age, and about one quarter of them are younger than age 20. Consequently, the population of young cancer survivors has grown, and the focus of cancer treatments has shifted from one of survival alone to that of survival and quality of life after treatment. For many men and their families, the maintenance and preservation of fertility during and after treatment is important. However, antineoplastic agents, radiation, and surgical therapies can all pose significant threats to a man’s fertility potential, as can the presence of cancer itself. Male infertility due to cancer treatments may be temporary or permanent and can range from mild to severe. Because it is difficult—if not impossible—to predict the exact impact of cancer therapy on an individual man’s ability to father a biological child, sperm cryopreservation prior to therapy remains the cornerstone of fertility preservation in this patient population. Unfortunately, in many cases, sperm cryopreservation remains underutilized. When sperm has not been banked prior to treatment and when men are azoospermic by their cancer treatment, surgical sperm retrieval in conjunction with advanced reproductive technologies (ART) is offered.


Antineoplastic agents Fertility in male cancer patients Fertility preservation Cryopreservation Chemotherapy and male fertility Surgical sperm retrieval Recovery of spermatogenesis Gonadotoxicity and testicular dysfunction Sperm banking 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of UrologyUniversity of Wisconsin Hospital and ClinicsMadisonUSA

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