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A Few Things to Know about Cancer Treatment and its Effect on Fertility in Children

It is the desire of a majority of people to raise a family of their own. However, one thing that is obvious is the fact that bringing up children is never an easy affair. Parents often sacrifice a lot for their children. Taking care of children can be even more challenging when they are born with certain health conditions. Similarly, looking after children who have developed certain health complications can be quite a devastating task. One good example is cancer. Cancer is one disease that is known to take a toll on little children. Children with their delicate bodies are subjected to rigorous cancer treatments or else they die an early death. Cancer treatment is already difficult for adults, one can imagine how difficult it is for children. Cancer treatments have shown side effects in children over the past years. One good example is the impact on their fertility. The fertility of children can be heavily affected by some of the available cancer treatments.

Chemotherapy is one of the cancer treatments used on children with effects on their fertility. Alkylating agents, a type of chemotherapy are known to affect fertility more commonly in children than any other type of chemotherapy. Examples of the alkylating agents include cyclophosphamide, ifosfamide, procarbazine, busulfan, and melphalan. It is important to note that high doses of alkylating agents will cause permanent damage. One should hence ask for possible effects on the fertility of a particular drug before they allow the doctor to minister the drug to their child. Radiation therapy can also damage ovaries and testes hence affecting the fertility of a child. The risk of the child losing their fertility is great when radiation therapy is focused on areas like the spine, pelvis, abdomen, and the whole body. If the cancer cells are located in the reproductive organs of the child, surgery may be used to avoid the chances of a child losing their fertility as a result of damage to their reproductive organs due to radiation therapy.

Before opting for a given procedure to preserve the fertility of the child, there are a number of measures that a parent should do. For instance, a parent needs to carefully talk to their child about the intended procedure to preserve their fertility. The parent should ask the child if they are willing to undergo the said procedure. A parent should include the risks of the procedure, the potential complications, and the success and failure rate. There are quite a number of fertility preservations options for children with cancer. However, parents need to discuss this with the doctor before the onset of cancer treatment. It is also important to note that there are fertility preservation treatment options for girls and boys. Parents should compare all the options that they have before they can decide for their child which procedure to go for. Preserving the fertility of a child battling cancer is one way of giving them hope that it is a battle that they can win.

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