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Factors associated with adolescent and young adult males with cancer attending fertility consultation: a population-based cohort study in Ontario, Canada


Purpose — Cancer and its treatment can impair fertility in men. It is recommended that they be referred for fertility consultation before the start of treatment. This study examined factors associated with men attending a fertility consultation within 30 days of diagnosis.

Methods — Males 15 to 39 years of age, diagnosed with cancer in Ontario, Canada, between 2006 and 2019, were identified from the Ontario Cancer Registry. Linked administrative data were used to obtain other clinical and sociodemographic variables. The main outcome was a fertility consultation within 30 days of diagnosis, defined using Ontario Health Insurance Plan billing codes (606 or 628). A backward selection multivariate logistic regression was performed.

Results — Of 13,720 cases identified, 8.5% attended a fertility consultation within 30 days of diagnosis. A more recent year of diagnosis (odds ratio [OR] = 5.5; 95% confidence interval [CI] 4.6–6.6), living in an urban area (OR = 1.3; 95% CI 1.0–1.8), receiving radiation therapy (OR = 1.4; 95% CI 1.2–1.6), chemotherapy (OR = 1.9; 95% CI 1.6–2.2), and reproductive organ-related cancer surgery (OR = 1.5; 95% CI 1.2–1.7) were associated with a greater likelihood of attending a consultation. Older age (OR = 0.2; 95% CI 0.1–0.2), living in a northern region (OR = 0.3; 95% CI 0.2–0.5), having a cancer with low (OR = 0.3; 95% CI 0.2–0.4) or moderate risk to fertility (OR = 0.6; 95% CI 0.5–0.7), and residing in a neighborhood with lower income (OR = 0.4; 95% CI 0.3–0.5) or residential instability quintile (OR = 0.8; 95% CI 0.6–1.0) were associated with being less likely to attend a consultation.

Conclusion — Although rates of fertility consultation have increased over time, these remain low in various clinical and demographic groups. Funding for fertility preservation appears to have had an important impact on fertility consultation in young men with cancer.



Rae C, Costa A, Seow H, Barr RD. J Adolesc Young Adult Oncol. 2022; Jun 14 [Epub ahead of print].

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