Infertility 'more common among childhood cancer survivors'

Children who suffer from cancer are more likely to suffer from fertility problems as an adult.

This is according to a German study published in Deutsches Arzteblatt International, which included the analysis of data from 2,754 former paediatric oncology patients, although 210 opted out of being checked for sterility.

Magdalena Balcerek and her team, who authored the research, suspected 30 per cent of participants were infertile.

Of the 201 people who underwent hormone and sperm testing, a quarter were thought to be unable to have children, while 23 per cent of the patients fulfilled the World Health Organization's definition of sterility because they had failed to conceive within 24 months.

The authors suggested fertility protection measures should be explained to children with cancer and their parents before treatment is decided upon.

A University of California study in the US, which was recently published in Springer's Journal of Cancer Survivorship, found young patients were frustrated at the lack of information offered about safeguarding their ability to have children before they were treated.