Purpose: In this study, we set out to determine the preferences, concerns, and attitudes toward fertility preservation of adult male survivors of pediatric cancer and their parents. Methods: We conducted 3 focus groups with a total of 15 male survivors of pediatric cancer (age at diagnosis: mean=14, range: 10-20; age at study: mean=35, range: 25-47) and 2 groups with a total of 7 parents of survivors. Grounded theory methodology was used for the identification and analysis of recurrent themes expressed by survivors and their parents in the course of focus group discussions. Results: Themes most frequently expressed by survivors included concern regarding long-term treatment effects and a retrospective desire for fertility impairment to have been discussed when they were originally diagnosed with cancer. Parental themes included the same hindsight desire, as well as reliance upon the treating oncologist for direction in selecting the course of treatment, and an acknowledgment that input from a specialist in fertility preservation would have been beneficial. Conclusions: Although future reproductive potential was not consistently reported as a source of apprehension when diagnosed with cancer, both survivors and their parents noted it to be a paramount concern later in life. Parents and survivors both reported that fertility preservation discussions should be routinely incorporated in the clinical context of a pediatric cancer diagnosis.
Keywords: cancer survivorship; fertility preservation; oncofertility; pediatric oncology; sperm cryopreservation.