Testicular Cancer and Fertility: What Every Man Should Know

Testicular cancer can affect fertility, but patients aren't without options when it comes to family planning.

While testicle removal is often a part of testicular cancer treatment, that procedure doesn’t always seriously impact a patient’s fertility.

Even when a patient’s non-affected testicle can produce sperm, however, non-surgical treatments such as chemotherapy and radiation can have significant effects.

“A lot of times, patients are so concerned about the cancer in itself that they don’t think long term about their lives after they’re treated and after they survive the cancer,” says Ohio State’s Lawrence Jenkins, MD.

Experts like Jenkins are addressing these issues through the growing field of oncofertility, which focuses on fertility preservation for younger cancer patients, who are encouraged to discuss family planning options with their doctors before beginning treatment.

“Fertility preservation is something that should be talked about at the beginning of their cancer diagnosis,” Jenkins says. “A lot of the treatments that may be considered may impact fertility, so it’s something that should be done very early.