Fertility Considerations, Counseling, and Semen Cryopreservation for Males Prior to the Initiation of Cancer Therapy

Marcia Leonard

Karen Hammelef

Gary D. Smith

infertility, semen preservation
CJON 2004, 8(2), 127-145. DOI: 10.1188/04.CJON.127-131

An innovative program jointly sponsored by members of the departments of obstetrics and urology and the Comprehensive Cancer Center at the University of Michigan began in 2002. The Fertility Counseling and Gamete Cryopreservation Program (FCGCP) was created to provide counseling and education about therapy-induced infertility to newly diagnosed patients with cancer as well as facilitating the semen cryopreservation process. Unlike most sperm banking facilities in this country, this program is coordinated by an oncology nurse practitioner whose understanding of cancer and cancer treatments provides patients and staff with a unique perspective. Oncology staff misconceptions about sperm banking were addressed through intensive staff education programs. Patient education materials covering all aspects of infertility and sperm banking were developed and made available in patient care areas and on the Internet. Material aimed at young adolescents and their parents is prominent. Developmentally appropriate discussions are held with adolescent patients and their parents, both individually and together. Communication among patients and their families, the oncology team, and the sperm bank is maintained, permitting efficient and timely service. FCGCP provides an important service by affording all males with cancer the potential to father a child in the future.

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