Hodgkin's Disease and Fertility
Now, at thirty-one, he is getting married, and was told last week by his doctor that he will never be able to fertilize an egg because he has zero sperm activity.
Can someone please help me? I am looking for a respectable, expert answer from your resources regarding this kind of situation. At a trying period like this, a reply from your staff would greatly ease my family's worries.
Both radiation and chemotherapy can cause azospermia. Low doses of radiation directed at the testes will cause azospermia and for this reason radiation oncologists take great care to protect the testes from receiving any dose. It is rare that the testes are involved with lymphoma and, therefore, the they can be covered with a lead shield that usually successfully protects the sperm producing cells.
Chemotherapy can also cause sterility. Two chemotherapy medications (procarbazine and mechloethamine) are known to cause sterility and were commonly used in the past to treat Hodgkin's Disease. Today, other chemotherapy agents which do not cause sterility and are often recommended in patients who have a desire to remain fertile.
The use of these new chemotherapy agents and careful radiotherapy techniques have greatly reduced the rate of sterility in patients treated for Hodgkin's Disease. Unfortunately, this new treatment may be too late to help your brother.