Recognition and attitudes of Japanese hematologists on sperm banking before chemotherapy: present status from nationwide questionnaire survey
Treatment advancements have improved young cancer patients’ survival rate considerably. Fertility preservation has become a very important tool in the prevention of treatment-induced gonadal toxicity. This study aimed to examine hematologists’ awareness of its necessity and importance.
Questionnaires were mailed to the directors of 230 institutes that treated hematological malignancies in adults. The directors were asked to provide information regarding their institutes, collaboration with sperm banks, the number of patients treated per year, selection criteria for patients providing information, and their awareness of and attitudes toward sperm preservation.
The response rate was 40.0%. Municipal and private hospitals treated patients significantly less frequently relative to university hospitals (p = .002). Of the 92 participating hematology institutions, 17 included sperm banks and 69 collaborated with sperm banks in neighboring institutions. Many participants stated that sperm preservation should be performed before chemotherapy; however, only 38% provided sperm preservation information to all patients. Participants in facilities without sperm banks exhibited significantly lower levels of knowledge regarding sperm preservation, relative to those from institutions with sperm banks, and found discussing fertility preservation burdensome. This trend was identical to that observed in a survey conducted 10 years earlier.
Many hematologists did not appear to possess sufficient knowledge regarding fertility preservation. Moreover, few institutions included sperm banks, and a considerable burden was exerted on hematologists. The introduction of support systems is required to promote sperm preservation before cancer treatment.
KeywordsSperm preservation Chemotherapy Hematologist Attitude Recognition Questionnaire
This national survey was conducted with the assistance of the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare in Japan. We thank Editage (http://www.editage.jp) for English language editing.
Compliance with ethical standards
Conflict of interest
All authors have no competing financial interests to declare.
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