Care During Chemotherapy and Beyond
QUESTION: I am a 28 year old male and about to start
treatment for Hodgkin's disease. I understand that some treatments can cause
fertility problems. How would I learn more about the process of sperm banking?
ANSWER: Therapeutic sperm banking, the process of storing
sperm in a sperm bank before starting radiation or chemotherapy, is an option available
to any man - married or not - who is concerned about the possible side effect of
Sperm banks are facilities at a limited number of health-care institutions where
sperm are frozen and stored in liquid-nitrogen-cooled refrigerators. Commercial
sperm banks are available in some cities.
Before undergoing radiation treatments, patients are usually advised to collect
specimens over at least two weeks to begin the sperm banking process. Specimens
can be stored because the capacity of sperm to fertilize eggs does not change for
an extended period of time.
There are costs involved with sperm banking - fees for freezing, storing
and retrieving sperm for the donor. Costs vary among institutions, and some
portions are covered by some insurance companies. Since most physicians want
patients to start cancer treatment shortly after diagnosis, it is important to locate
a sperm bank as soon as possible to begin the sperm banking process.
For more information about sperm banking talk with your physician, and/or a specialist
in fertility treatment. The American Association of Tissue Banks in McLean,
VA., also maintains a registry of U.S. sperm banks and can be reached at 1-800-635-2282.
Note: We strongly encourage you to talk with your health care professional
about your specific medical condition and treatments. The information contained
in this website is meant to be helpful and educational, but is not a substitute
for medical advice.
Chemocare.com is designed to provide the latest information about chemotherapy to patients and their families, caregivers and friends. For information about the 4th Angel Mentoring Program visit www.4thangel.org