(HealthDay News) — A considerable proportion of male cancer survivors do not attend follow-up appointments to monitor their fertility or to discuss disposal of banked sperm, according to a study presented at Fertility 2013, held from Jan. 3 to 5 in Liverpool, U.K.

Allan Pacey, Ph.D., from the University of Sheffield in the United Kingdom, and colleagues sent a questionnaire to 499 male cancer survivors aged 18 to 55 years who had undergone cancer treatment more than five years previously which may have affected their fertility and had banked sperm. Among 193 respondents, views were assessed regarding sperm banking, fertility, and post-treatment fertility testing (semen analysis).

The researchers found that 35.8 percent of the respondents had never attended a follow-up appointment to evaluate their fertility. About one-third (32.6 percent) had attended on one occasion. Men who had suffered fewer side effects during treatment, had a more negative experience of banking sperm, and had a more negative attitude to sperm disposal were more likely to have not attended. Non-attendance for semen analysis was not correlated with post-treatment follow-up with cancer specialists.

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“Trying to engage men with this subject is notoriously difficult,” Pacey said in a statement. “Our research suggests that there is a need to educate men about the benefits of attending follow-up fertility clinics and the long-term consequences of non-attendance.”

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