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NCCN Guidelines for Patients


Hodgkin Lymphoma, Version 1.2015

Fertility and pregnancy

Some cancer treatments can limit your ability to have

a baby. If you want the choice of having babies after

treatment or are unsure, tell your doctors. It may also

help to talk with a fertility specialist before you begin

cancer treatment. A fertility specialist is an expert in

helping people have babies.

A fertility specialist can discuss with you how to

have a baby after treatment. Some methods of

fertility preservation are discussed next. If you are a

woman of childbearing age, important information on

pregnancy is also addressed.

Sperm banking

Men who want to father children after cancer

treatment can use sperm banking. Sperm banking

stores semen for later use. This is done by freezing

semen with sperm in liquid nitrogen. Talk to your

treatment team about the costs of and how well

sperm banking works.

Egg freezing and more

Like sperm banking, a woman’s eggs can be

removed, frozen, and stored for later use. Your

frozen eggs can be fertilized with sperm beforehand.

Also, a part of your ovary that contains eggs can be

frozen and stored. Another fertility method for women

who will be treated with radiation is a surgery called

oophoropexy. This surgery will move your ovary out of

range of the radiation beam to protect it.

Pregnancy test

Some cancer treatments can harm an unborn baby.

Get a pregnancy test before treatment if you may be

pregnant now. Your treatment options will depend

on the results. During treatment, take steps to avoid

getting pregnant. Your doctors can tell you which birth

control methods are best to use while on treatment.

Smoking and distress

If you smoke, it is important to quit. Nicotine addiction

is one of the hardest addictions to stop. The stress

of having cancer may make it harder to quit. Quitting

is important since smoking can limit how well cancer

treatment works. If you smoke, ask your doctor about

counseling and drugs to help you quit.

Distress is an unpleasant emotional state that

may affect how you feel, think, and act. It can

include feelings of unease, sadness, worry, anger,

helplessness, guilt, and so forth. Everyone with

cancer has some distress at some point in time. It is

normal to feel sad, fearful, and helpless.

Feeling distressed may be a minor problem or it may

be more serious. You may be so distressed that you

can’t do the things you used to do. Serious or not, it

is important that your treatment team knows how you

feel. Your team can get you the help you need.


Treatment planning

Fertility and pregnancy | Smoking and distress