Guidelines from the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) state that any men or adolescent boys who are receiving treatment that may leave them infertile should be offered the opportunity to store their sperm.
But in a study funded by Cancer Research UK, researchers at the University of Warwick and University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire NHS Trust found that only half of oncologists and haematologists across the UK agreed that information on sperm banking is readily available to patients, despite national guidelines which state sperm banking should be offered.
In a survey of nearly 500 clinicians, the researchers also found that 21 per cent were unaware of any local policies on sperm banking.
And only a quarter (26 per cent) of oncologists and 38 per cent of haematologists reported that discussions about sperm banking with male cancer patients are being documented systematically, yet nearly all doctors believed it was an integral part of their role to raise this topic.
Dr Ann Adams, study author from Warwick Medical School, said: "Our findings are very concerning and show that doctors in the UK aren't following sperm banking guidance, meaning many men are missing the opportunity to store their sperm for the future. Instead it appears that clinicians are deciding who is offered the chance to bank sperm based on their own personal beliefs, attitudes and assumptions about their patients' likelihood of starting a family in the future.
"Doctors know that many chemotherapy drugs can cause problems with fertility, so it's vital that all teenagers and men of any age who may want to start a family in the future are given the chance to bank their sperm."
Professor Geraldine Hartshorne, also an author from Warwick Medical School, added: "We're urging clinicians to discuss sperm banking with all their male cancer patients. Improved awareness and access to training for clinicians would hopefully increase both the opportunity and the uptake of sperm banking for cancer patients."
Martin Ledwick, head information nurse at Cancer Research UK, said: "We hope this new research raises the awareness of the sorts of discussions cancer patients should be having with their doctors and results in all men being offered the opportunity to bank their sperm for their future use. More and more people are surviving cancer so finding ways to improve their quality of life after treatment is becoming increasingly important."
For media enquiries please contact Laura Dibb on 020 7061 8051 or, out-of-hours, the duty press officer on 07050 264 059
For interviews with the authors please contact Kelly Parkes-Harrison, Communications Manager, University of Warwick on 02476 150483 or 07824 540863, email@example.comNotes to Editors:
About Cancer Research UKCancer Research UK is the world's leading cancer charity dedicated to saving lives through research
Together with its partners and supporters, Cancer Research UK's vision is to beat cancer.
For further information about Cancer Research UK's work or to find out how to support the charity, please call 020 7121 6699 or visit www.cancerresearchuk.org
Peter Dunn | EurekAlert!
Nanoparticles as a Solution against Antibiotic Resistance?
15.12.2017 | Friedrich-Schiller-Universität Jena
Plasmonic biosensors enable development of new easy-to-use health tests
14.12.2017 | Aalto University
DNA molecules that follow specific instructions could offer more precise molecular control of synthetic chemical systems, a discovery that opens the door for engineers to create molecular machines with new and complex behaviors.
Researchers have created chemical amplifiers and a chemical oscillator using a systematic method that has the potential to embed sophisticated circuit...
MPQ scientists achieve long storage times for photonic quantum bits which break the lower bound for direct teleportation in a global quantum network.
Concerning the development of quantum memories for the realization of global quantum networks, scientists of the Quantum Dynamics Division led by Professor...
Researchers have developed a water cloaking concept based on electromagnetic forces that could eliminate an object's wake, greatly reducing its drag while...
Tiny pores at a cell's entryway act as miniature bouncers, letting in some electrically charged atoms--ions--but blocking others. Operating as exquisitely sensitive filters, these "ion channels" play a critical role in biological functions such as muscle contraction and the firing of brain cells.
To rapidly transport the right ions through the cell membrane, the tiny channels rely on a complex interplay between the ions and surrounding molecules,...
The miniaturization of the current technology of storage media is hindered by fundamental limits of quantum mechanics. A new approach consists in using so-called spin-crossover molecules as the smallest possible storage unit. Similar to normal hard drives, these special molecules can save information via their magnetic state. A research team from Kiel University has now managed to successfully place a new class of spin-crossover molecules onto a surface and to improve the molecule’s storage capacity. The storage density of conventional hard drives could therefore theoretically be increased by more than one hundred fold. The study has been published in the scientific journal Nano Letters.
Over the past few years, the building blocks of storage media have gotten ever smaller. But further miniaturization of the current technology is hindered by...
11.12.2017 | Event News
08.12.2017 | Event News
07.12.2017 | Event News
15.12.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering
15.12.2017 | Materials Sciences
15.12.2017 | Life Sciences