How Does Brain Radiation Affect Fertility in Pediatric Patients?

Oncolink
Last Modified: September 18, 2013

Question:

Our doctor said that the radiation for my so's brain cancer may lead to problems with fertility when he is older. How does radiation to the brain effect fertility in a kid who has't even hit puberty yet?

Answer:

Connie DiDomenico, Pediatric Nurse Practitioner, responds:

There are parts of the brain that are responsible for hormone regulation and this includes hormones responsible for sexual organs and their development. If radiation is delivered in an area of the brain like the pituitary or hypothalamus, this could affect sexual development. Patients who have had this radiation will likely receive some synthetic hormones to help them have normal puberty.

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