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As treatments for childhood cancers have improved, more and more survivors are entering their reproductive years, and are thinking about starting families of their own. The possibility of losing the ability to have children due to cancer treatment is very concerning to many families. Fertility is an extremely important quality of life concern for childhood cancer survivors.

Some cancer treatments may affect girl’s ovaries or a boy’s testes. This may last for a short time after completing cancer treatment. Or it may last a lifetime and cause infertility. Infertility is the inability to have biological children. Infertility from cancer treatment is called a late effect. Your child’s risk of late effects depends on the cancer type and treatment plan. Ask your child’s doctor if planned treatments might have short- or long-term effects on reproductive health.

Because infertility occurs secondary to cancer treatment, and even small doses of chemotherapy can cause temporary azoospermia or damage to sperm DNA, banking should ideally be offered during the initial staging and diagnosis of disease before treatments are initiated.

Cryopreservation of semen, or sperm banking, is an easy, widely available means to preserve fertility for adolescent and young adult males with cancer, but it is not an option that is often available to young male cancer patients. It is recommended to all boys over 12 who will undergo chemotherapy, radiation or surgery, which could harm their ability to become fathers someday.

Testicular tissue freezing is an option for boys who have not gone through puberty; freezing testicle tissue may help preserve fertility. This is still an experimental approach.

In this video, former CHOP cancer patients discuss why they made the decision to bank their sperm, and describe what the experience was like for them:

Ideally, this should occur before the start of therapy, when a window of opportunity may exist to preserve the patient’s future reproductive potential.

Ask your doctor!

Additional resources:

Part of an integrative oncological treatment is to take care of all aspect of our children; music is a powerful expression tool that reduces anxiety, depression, and pain, it can also help the children to cope better with hospitalizations.
In Music therapy, the intention is to promote health by using music experiences including instrument play, movement, singing, etc.

In this video Ryan Judd from The Rhythm Tree shares with us, an interview with Catherine,
mother of Zoe who was diagnosed with a brain tumor and after the surgery music therapy helped her a lot to work out with her emotions.

For Ryan, Music therapy is honoring the child spirit and improving the quality of life.

Consider complementary methods in this road since it can bring a lot of benefits in the quality of life of a child.

Is your child suffering from Nausea?

We know that in order to prevent or decrease Nausea, a doctor may prescribe anti-nausea meds (such as Zofran, Ondansetron, Emend etc.)
which you should give a couple of days BEFORE a chemotherapy treatment cycle.

However, nausea can come and go also long after chemo has ended and if you do not want your child to take such meds frequently,
here are a few natural remedies which we gathered from our parents’ community, to ease nausea:

  1. Popsicles (water-based and NOT dairy).
  2. Watermelon.
  3. Almonds.
  4. Lemon, lime (a glass of water with a lot of lemon in it).
  5. Medical Cannabis drops (available in some countries and states).
  6. Ginger, peppermint, plain yogurt, rice.
  7. There is also naturopathic (plant-based) medicine, which any naturopath can make and which contains the following:
Tincture.Zingiber off. 30% Alpinia off. 20% Elettaria. 20% Mentha piperita. 15% Matricaria rec. 15%
Use: 60 drops 4 times a day. Drink with water or juice.

Remember, what helps one child may not help another, therefore you should try different solutions to solve the problem.

If you know of any other remedy, please send it to us and we will add it to this list.

Post cancer treatment effects

Headaches and migraines are a known post treatment phenomena, which some doctors associate with the treatment and some don’t.
It could be a result from the chemo and other parts of the treatment or a combination of other biological processes (such as puberty, hormones, eyesight etc.).

It is recommended to consult with a pediatric neurologist and always stay on alert to make sure these are only headaches
and not something else which may develop over time under the headache ‘noise’.

A good book to learn, assess, and help treat migraines is “The Migraine Brain”.

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