Despite the known adverse effects of specific cancer treatments on fertility, only 18-26% of at-risk adolescents and young men cryopreserve sperm prior to cancer treatment in the US. These already less than optimal rates of sperm banking are even lower among adolescents who have increased anxiety at cancer diagnosis, are lower in age and socioeconomic status, of Evangelical religious orientation, or are diagnosed with leukemia/lymphoma. It is not clear why sperm banking is underutilized, particularly in light of the high priority that survivors of childhood cancer place on fertility and the high psychological distress associated with fertility loss. Studies addressing sperm banking among adults with cancer suggest that factors such as poor physician communication and the resulting lack of fertility-risk knowledge by patients contributes to the low frequency of sperm cryopreservation.
In this study, we will identify factors predictive of sperm banking/not sperm banking in order to design interventions for increasing fertility preservation among adolescent males newly diagnosed with cancer. Specifically, we aim to investigate psychological, demographic, developmental, parent/guardian, provider, and medical factors predictive of sperm banking outcomes among at-risk adolescents with cancer. Once these factors have been identified, we will develop a novel Profiling and Referral Tool. This instrument will ultimately serve as an intervention for both healthcare providers and families through the facilitation of appropriate referrals, and tailored interventions for decreasing barriers to sperm banking. Finally, the feasibility of the Profiling and Referral tool will be evaluated based on provider and family report.
- To investigate factors predictive of banking sperm/not banking sperm among at-risk adolescents newly diagnosed with cancer.
- To utilize factors most predictive of sperm banking outcome to develop a brief Profiling and Referral Tool designed to increase sperm banking among teens newly diagnosed with cancer.
- Male participants newly diagnosed with cancer.
- Aged between 13.00 and 21.99 years at time of study enrollment.
- Participant identified as Tanner stage III or higher.
- Participant identified by his oncologist (or designee) as being at risk for treatment-related infertility.
- Proficiency speaking and reading English or Spanish.
- Cognitive capacity to complete study questionnaires.
- Participant previously treated for cancer.
- History of mental retardation or severe cognitive or learning impairment.
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