Adult survivors of pediatric cancer sometimes have difficulty conceiving or carrying children due to the treatments they received. Infertility is a major area of regret and sadness for former pediatric cancer patients. Research has found that educating patients on this issue and informing them about fertility preservation options is an important step in preventing regret and distress later on.
Siteman Kids patients will be offered consultations with pediatric onco-fertility specialists who can explain the potential effects of treatment on their future fertility. If a patient’s treatment is likely to affect his or her ability to conceive children, then our physicians can present a range of tactics to avert the problem.
For patients who have reached puberty, these tactics are:
- Banking sperm.
- Banking egg cells.
For children who have not yet reached puberty, fertility preservation methods involve collecting and freezing testicular or ovarian tissue. While these methods are still experimental, they have led to successful pregnancies and are expected to show increasingly positive results as the larger patient population under study reaches childbearing years.
In addition to providing fertility preservation, our doctors will also take care to protect your child’s fertility as much as possible by shielding their pelvic areas during radiation therapy.