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Prostate Cancer and Fertility: What Should You Know?

Prostate Cancer and Fertility: What Should You Know?

One of the most common types of cancer among males is prostate cancer. The diagnosis of prostate cancer can be worrisome and can raise several questions in one’s mind. Among these concerns are the effects of prostate cancer and its treatments on fertility. Fertility is considered to be an important part of a man’s life. That is why it is vital to understand the association between prostate cancer and fertility.

In this article, we have taken references from an expert urologist, Dr. Niren Rao, who is widely renowned for offering the best prostate cancer surgery in Delhi at Delhi Urology Hospital. Through this guide, we will explore what prostate cancer is and how prostate cancer and its treatments can affect fertility. We will also discuss the options available for preserving fertility in the face of this disease. Continue reading for more insights.

What is Prostate Cancer?

Prostate cancer is a type of cancer that occurs in the prostate gland of men. The prostate gland is a walnut-sized organ that is located below the bladder and in front of the rectum. This gland plays a crucial role in the male reproductive system as it produces fluid that transports sperm. It surrounds the urethra, which is responsible for carrying urine and semen out of the body. Prostate cancer develops when the abnormal cells in the prostate gland develop uncontrollably.

This is a complex disease with numerous risk factors such as age, family history, etc. The majority of cases are diagnosed in older males, with the average age of diagnosis being around 66. In some situations, the disease progresses slowly, while in others, it is more aggressive. Early detection and appropriate treatment are important for successfully managing prostate cancer.

If one is experiencing signs of prostate cancer, such as blood in the urine, difficulty urinating, a weak flow of urine, etc., one must seek the help of an expert urologist for a proper diagnosis. One can consult Dr. Niren Rao, the best urologist in Delhi, at a renowned facility, Delhi Urology Hospital.

What is the Connection Between Prostate Cancer and Fertility?

Treatment for prostate cancer may affect one’s ability to have children for a period of time. It typically depends on one’s age, health, and the nature of treatment.

1. Direct Effects of Prostate Cancer

  • Quality of Semen: Prostate cancer can have an impact on sperm quality. Prostate tumors can affect its ability to produce and transport seminal fluid, which is essential for sperm motility.
  • Sperm Production: Prostate cancer can limit the production of healthy sperm in some situations. While it is not necessary that all men with prostate cancer experience this, it can affect fertility for those who do.

2. Effects of Prostate Cancer Treatments

  • Surgery: Surgical procedures such as radical prostatectomy, i.e., the removal of the prostate gland, are one of the most commonly performed treatments for prostate cancer. While it is an effective procedure for eliminating cancer, this procedure can have a significant impact on one’s fertility. The removal of the prostate gland can lead to a condition known as ‘dry ejaculation’ where the semen gets redirected instead of being ejaculated. This implies that natural conception becomes impossible as the sperm does not reach the semen.

  • Radiation Therapy: Radiation therapy makes use of high-energy X-rays that target and damage cancer cells. However, it does have adverse effects on fertility. The radiation can damage the nearby testicles, which further leads to reduced sperm production. It either leads to temporary or permanent infertility.

  • Hormone Therapy: Hormone therapy is frequently used to decrease the spread of prostate cancer. It reduces the levels of male hormones, i.e., androgens, in the body. While it is definitely an effective treatment for prostate cancer, it can lead to reduced sexual desire and difficulty maintaining an erection. This impacts a man’s ability to become a father.

  • Chemotherapy: Chemotherapy drugs can affect the production of sperm and may result in temporary or permanent infertility. However, this effect is typically reversible once treatment ends.

What are the Options Available for Preserving Fertility?

Given the potential impact of prostate cancer and its treatments on fertility, many men facing this diagnosis may want to explore options for preserving their ability to father children in the future. There are several approaches to consider:

1. Sperm Banking: Sperm banking is the process of collecting and freezing sperm prior to undergoing prostate cancer treatment. This allows men to save their sperm for later use in other reproductive techniques, such as in vitro fertilization (IVF). As a result, sperm banking is regarded as an essential means for preserving fertility.

2. Testicular Sperm Extraction (TESE): For men who are unable to produce sperm through ejaculation due to prostate cancer treatment, TESA may be considered an effective option. In this procedure, the urologist will extract sperm directly from the testicles, which can then be used for IVF or Intra-Cytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI).

3. Testicular Shielding: This is when a lead shield is employed to protect the testicles from radiation. This reduces the possibility of sperm damage. It’s also known as gonadal shielding.

4. Consult with a Fertility Specialist: Men who are diagnosed with prostate cancer and desire to preserve their fertility must consult with an expert urologist. These experts can provide guidance on the appropriate options available for each individual’s unique situation.

Final Takeaway

To sum it up, prostate cancer is one of the most common cancers worldwide and comes with a lot of challenges, including its impact on fertility. However, this is why it is vital to understand the relationship between prostate cancer and fertility for those who are experiencing this disease. While it is true that the disease and its treatments do affect reproductive abilities, there are several options available that help preserve fertility and can help one achieve their future planning goals.

Since every prostate cancer is unique, decisions regarding fertility preservation must be made after consulting an expert urologist. Therefore, one can schedule a consultation with Dr. Niren Rao, a famous urologist who practices at Delhi Urology Hospital. Based on the diagnosis and stage of the cancer, he provides an effective treatment for prostate cancer.

One must understand that prostate surgery cost in Delhi vary depending on the stage of the cancer and the treatment performed. At Delhi Urology Hospital, TURP surgery starts at Rs. 50,000, bilateral orchiectomy starts at Rs. 30,000, and laparoscopic radical prostatectomy starts at 2 lakh rupees.

To know the exact cost of prostate cancer surgery, one can consider consulting the well-known urologist, Dr. Niren Rao, at Delhi Urology Hospital today!

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