Will we be able to have a family after chemotherapy?

MY husband has been diagnosed with cancer and has to have chemotherapy.

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We were hoping to start a family. Will the chemotherapy affect his fertility?

SOME types of chemotherapy, radiotherapy and hormone therapy can affect fertility. This may be temporary or permanent. Temporary effects can last for years.

For sexually active men who wish to have children, it is important they discuss sperm storage with their doctor or nurse before treatment starts.

Sperm can be frozen and stored safely for years. The samples can be used later for assisted conception techniques.

His doctor can refer your husband to a fertility specialist if he wishes to consider storing his sperm.

As he won't know if he is producing sperm or not after treatment has finished, he can request an annual sperm count a year after his last treatment.

Even if a patient is not thinking of having children, it is important to discuss the options with a medic before treatment starts.

MOST people's feet have a gap where the inner part of their foot (the arch) is raised off the ground when they stand. The height of this arch varies.

Some people's feet, however, have a low arch or no arch at all, which is referred to as flat feet or fallen arches.

When someone with flat feet stands, their inner foot or arch flattens, and the foot may roll over to the inner side (known as over-pronation).

Some people with flat feet never have any trouble or pain.

Others may suffer from aching feet, or find that it puts a strain on the connecting ligaments and muscles, which causes pain in the leg joints when walking.

WHY aren't children in the UK vaccinated against chickenpox?

THE chickenpox vaccine is not part of the UK childhood vaccination programme because experts think that introducing a chickenpox vaccination for youngsters could increase the risk of shingles in older people.

The vaccine is used to protect people who are most at risk of a serious chickenpox infection.

Chickenpox is usually a mild illness, particularly in children.

The condition is so common in childhood that around 90% of adults who grow up in the UK are immune to the chickenpox virus because they have had it before.

The chickenpox vaccine can be used to immunise people who may pass the infection on to someone who is at risk.

For example, healthcare workers who are not immune to chickenpox and people in close contact with someone who has a weakened immune system can be given the vaccine.

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