It is established that gender differences exist in the immunological response to surgery. Dr Matthias Wichmann and colleagues investigated whether gender differences exist in the outcome of curative colorectal cancer resection.
The research team from Munich, Germany, analyzed the records of 894 colorectal cancer patients.
500 men and 394 women made up the study sample.
The mean age of the men was 64.7 years and for the women the mean age was 66.1 years.
Women lived significantly longer than men did after cancer resection. The mean survival was 57.8 months for women, compared with 52.0 months for men.
|Disease-free and overall survival were significantly higher in women.
|British Journal of Surgery|
The mean disease-free survival was also significantly longer in women, 51.6 months, compared with 46.0 months for men.
Further analysis of the data revealed that gender differences were only significant in patients with rectal cancer. There were no gender differences in outcome for patients with colon cancer.
Dr Wichmann concludes, "Significant gender differences following curative rectal cancer resection were observed.
"Whether or not these gender differences are related to gender-specific immune functions, or to other gender-related local or systemic factors, remains to be determined."