Genetic epidemiology

Male cancer survivors are less likely to reproduce

In a new study recently published in British Journal of Cancer, scientists at the department of Global Public Health and Primary care studied all males born in Norway during 1965-1985, and compared those diagnosed with cancer before the age of 25 with the cancer-free male references, for analyses on paternity, marriage, and offspring outcomes.

Far og sønn1
Far og sønn2

Main content

We find that male cancer survivors are less likely to become fathers, and that among those fathering at least one child, the risk of the usage of assisted reproduction to reproduce is tripled. There is no increased risk of negative offspring outcomes, such as premature delivery, low birth weight, stillbirth or congenital malformations, in the offspring of male cancer survivors. Male survivors of cancer in young age are slightly less likely to get married, and for all cancer groups except brain tumors, the reduced paternity holds true when looking at the married males only. The findings of this study can help identify particularly vulnerable survivor groups and highlight the need for better fertility preservation methods as well as less toxic treatment regimens, in addition to developing site-specific guidelines for follow-up of these patients when it comes to family and reproductive issues.

First author of the study is Maria Winther Gunnes.

Link to the article. Link to UoB press release.