Thyroid cancer treatment and fertility in men and women

2019-06-15 Health No comment

In the United States, 45,000 people diagnose thyroid cancer each year. Treatment of thyroid cancer may affect the future fertility of men and women. It is more common in women who are 3 to 1 female to male. This is the fastest growing cancer among American women. It is diagnosed among young women of childbearing age. Treatment of thyroid cancer usually produces excellent results, and most women survive 10 years or more after diagnosis. Some women develop thyroid cancer due to iodine deficiency in the diet or previous neck radiation. Certain types of thyroid cancer are associated with genetic abnormalities.

Several types of thyroid cancer are recognized:

Papillary carcinoma


2. Follicular carcinoma


3. Medullary carcinoma


4. anaplastic cancer


5. Thyroid lymphoma.

Papillary and follicular cancers are less invasive tumors and are encountered in most women diagnosed with thyroid cancer. When they carry estrogen receptors, they also respond to estrogen. Estrogen may promote the growth of thyroid cancer cells. They are often suspected of having a neck exam followed by an ultrasound or iodine scan followed by a biopsy. In general, the treatment of thyroid cancer requires total thyroidectomy – surgical removal of the thyroid, and then radioactive iodine ablation of any thyroid residual. Next is a long-term thyroid hormone replacement. Long-term follow-up is required after treatment.

Effect of thyroid cancer treatment on ovarian cancer. Subsequent thyroid hormone replacement therapy after thyroidectomy does not affect the future fertility of men and women. Radioactive iodine affects the quantity and quality of eggs that remain in the ovaries. The effect depends on the dose of radioactive iodine and the age of treatment. 20% to 30% of women begin to have transient amenorrhea or irregular menstruation about 3 months after treatment. Normal menstrual recovery is about 6 months later. Permanent ovarian failure is rare, but may occur in women 40 years of age or older at the time of treatment. The incidence of abortion was reported to increase in the first year after treatment. In addition to miscarriage, there is no evidence that exposure to radioactive iodine affects the outcome of subsequent pregnancy and the health of the child born.

Effect of radioactive iodine treatment on testis. The effects of radioactive iodine treatment on men may be more severe. And is related to the total dose of radioactive iodine received. A brief reduction in testosterone and sperm count may occur, but sometimes it results in a permanent decrease in sperm count and testosterone levels. Men who receive large doses sometimes cause permanent damage to the testes without ejaculation sperm – azoospermia. There is no evidence that radioactive iodine affects their newborns, although it is recommended that men avoid giving birth to their children for six months after treatment.

Save birth choice. Men who are interested in future fertility should consider sperm freezing before radioactive iodine treatment. If women are treated with radioactive iodine and are over 35 years of age, women should also consider retaining fertility. Radioactive iodine treatment will reduce their ovarian reserve. In addition, they will be asked to avoid pregnancy for a year or so. Options that can be used to maintain fertility in women include ovarian stimulation and egg removal, followed by egg or embryo freezing. Ovarian stimulation can be modified to avoid estrogen exposure during stimulation. Men and women diagnosed with thyroid cancer may benefit from consulting a maternity protection specialist prior to treatment to discuss the effects on the gonads and ways to protect future fertility.

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