Pressured to "Bank": A Testicular Cancer Survivor's Story

Published on by Matthew Mewhorter.


Many men like Isaac Marston (and myself) who face cancer treatments are presented with the dilemma of what to do with the millions of our baby-makers before they become blasted with radiation and chemotherapy treatments. Men are discouraged from conceiving children from sperm that's been exposed to the crazy toxic treatments, and are given the option to bank their sperm beforehand.  Once cancer treatments are green-lit, we have a tiny window of time to fork over hundreds of dollars during a workday to bank our sperm so we still have the opportunity to have kids without the super high risk of often-tragic consequences. 

Banking sperm is an option, but Isaac's brief story highlights the guilt and pressure that was placed on him:

 I am a nonseminoma testicular cancer survivor. Before starting treatment I was told I needed to bank sperm as I might not be able to have children after. I was very unconcerned about the children I may or may not be able to father and didn't want to bank sperm. In my mind that should have been the end of the conversation but it wasn't. Over the following days and weeks the oncology staff kept bringing it up basically telling me I didn't have a choice. I kept on refusing. I mean what were they really going to do to get it out of me? I was worried about surviving the cancer not the feelings of my future un-conceived children.

Isaac Marston

Thanks Isaac for bringing up this important perspective!