Wednesday, October 4, 2023

Saving sperm can overcome infertility in men who get testicular cancer, Mayo Clinic doc says

Should men diagnosed with testicular cancer worry about having children in the future? Yes, says a doctor at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota.

Dr. Bradley C. Leibovich
Bradley C. Leibovich, MD, a urologic oncologist there and the medical director of the Center for Digital Health, notes that "the first thing we do with men that are interested in preserving fertility is talk about sperm banking."

One side effect of chemotherapy, radiation and other cancer treatments can definitely be infertility, Leibovich told Jason Howland of the Mayo Clinic News Network online a while back, so saving the sperm should be a priority before starting treatment.

Another concern is "lower levels of testosterone, a hormone produced primarily in the testicles," the News Network story says.

The article also quotes Leibovich as saying, "Most men have normal testosterone levels with just one testicle. For men that do wind up with a lower level of testosterone, it's really easy to replace." 

The piece then says that under the "guidance of a healthcare professional, testosterone replacement therapy, in the form of injections, pills, patches or gels, can restore normal testosterone levels in men."

In an earlier story in the News Network also written by Howland, it's noted that "the disease is not common. Just 1 in 250 men will develop testicular cancer at some point in their lifetime, according to the American Caner Society. Most of those cases are in young and middle-aged men."

Leibovich explains that "we like men to do monthly testicular self-examinations. Because if you find that testicular cancer early, the amount of treatment people need to get that cure is significantly less." 

More information about dealing with side effects of treatments can be found in Rollercoaster: How a man can survive his partner's breast cancer, a VitalityPress book that I, Woody Weingarten, aimed at male caregivers.

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