Do cancer and treatments for cancer have an impact on the reproduction of men? Does it have an impact on the health of direct offspring and subsequent generations? Researchers at Institut national de la receherche scientifique (INRS) have put forth their analysis on this public issue in an article to appear in the journal Gynécologie Obstétrique & Fertilité.

Researchers at INRS have analyzed the results of scientific studies to better understand how chemotherapy and other cancer treatments affect reproductive function in men. As per the initial analysis, cancer survivors are more likely to use assisted reproductive techniques and have more difficulty in becoming fathers irrespective of their age at which the condition is diagnosed.

Lack of Data Necessitate Cohort Studies to Validate Hypothesis

While cancer may be associated with lower birth rate, it does not have a significant impact on the health of children of cancer survivors. However, there have been no epidemiological study if cancer treatments affect the health of subsequent generations of cancer survivors. At present, there is no data available if cancer treatments affect the reproductive function and health of descendants of cancer survivors, which is why cohort studies to understand how cancer treatment affects multiple generations are important.

Regardless, the action of chemotherapy on reproductive function is important for clinicians to make informed decisions regarding adjusting therapy, reducing side effects, and better advise cancer survivors on family planning, as stated by the author in charge of the study.

Some of the highlights of the study are that radiation and exposure to alkylating agents are associated to have a negative impact on male fertility and that health of offspring.