Dissertation (Masters) An Exploration of How Male Adolescents who had Childhood Cancer Make Sense of Infertility as a Long-term Effect of Cancer Treatments

Author

Sophie Isabelle Grace Roher

Abstract

Clinical practice guidelines recommend that healthcare professionals (HCPs) discuss fertility preservation (FP) with cancer patients, however studies show that many HCPs do not initiate these discussions with male adolescents. Research examining male adolescents’ perceptions of potential infertility is also limited. Using Frank’s three narrative typologies (restitution, quest, and chaos narratives) as a conceptual framework through which to examine a collection of interviews with 14-18 year old males, this study examines how male adolescent childhood cancer survivors make sense of infertility as a long-term effect of cancer treatments and explores how their experiences of cancer shape their identities. Findings: i) all three narrative types were evident in the interviews with an emphasis on the restitution and quest narratives; ii) the narratives highlighted the important role of family in the adolescents’ understanding and experience of infertility; and iii) the narratives shed light on the importance of biological parenthood to the participants.