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Male Cancer Survivors have a Low Reproduction Rate, Study Says

Update Date: Feb 16, 2016 11:34 AM EST

Men who beat cancer after being diagnosed at a young age tend to have lower reproduction rates, a new study reported.

For this study, the researchers examined men born in Norway from 1965 to 1985. The team compared the reproduction rates in men who were diagnosed with cancer before the age of 25 and men who did not have cancer. The researchers found that male cancer survivors have a harder time reproducing in comparison to men without cancer. The survivors were also less likely to seek out help with reproduction.

"These finds are important for male cancer survivors, seeing as we can identify groups at risk of having reproduction problems," lead author, Maria Winther Gunnes, PhD candidate at the Department of Global Public Health and Primary Care at the University of Bergen, said reported by Medical Xpress.

The team argued that several measures could be taken to help male cancer survivors with reproduction. First off, doctors can help patients preserve their sperm before they start their cancer treatment. Second, providing cancer survivors with reproduction options, such as assisted fertilization, could be beneficial. Third, informing them that their cancer will not affect the health of their children can encourage them to start a family.

"It is important to be able to assure young, male cancer survivors that their illness and treatment will not have a negative impact on their own children," Gunnes stated.

The researchers stated that it is important to enforce these measures, especially since the cancer survival rate in younger patients has been increasing over time.

The study was published in the British Journal of Cancer.

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