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 19 February 2018

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News

Improved survival in women with colorectal cancer

This month‘s American Journal of Gastroenterology finds improved survival in young women with colorectal cancer.

News image

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Studies have reported the effect of gender in the context of assessing predictors of survival from colorectal cancer.

However, few have specifically addressed the impact of gender on the clinical and pathological outcomes of colorectal cancer.

Appreciation of gender disparities may assist in the implementation of measures to address these differences, and improve the overall outcomes of patients with colorectal cancer.

Female gender predicted improved overall survival independent of age
American Journal of Gastroenterology

Dr Jenn Koo and team from Australia used the South Western Sydney Colorectal Tumor Group registry.

This registry encompasses a population in excess of 800,000, and prospectively collects data on new patients with colorectal cancer.

Data from 1997 to 2004 were collected, including demography, site, grade, histopathology, stage, treatment, and survival.

The researchers analyzed a total of 2,050 consecutive patients with colorectal cancer.

Compared to men, women were older, and had more emergency surgery for colorectal cancer-related complications.

The research team noted that women had more proximal cancers, and had more poorly differentiated cancers.

The team observed that fewer radiotherapy treatments for Dukes B and C rectal cancers.

The research team found that women aged 50 years and below had significantly better overall survival compared to young men.

Female gender predicted improved overall survival independent of age, emergency surgery, site, grade, and stage.

The team found similarly, young women had significantly better cancer-specific survival.

However, women aged over 50 years had worse survival independent of age, emergency surgery, site, grade, and stage.

The team found no gender differences in screening, histopathology, stage, or utilization of chemotherapy.

Dr Koo's team concluded, "This study demonstrated an opposing effect of gender on overall and cancer-specific survival at either side of the age of 50 years."

"The protective effect of estrogen on colorectal cancer may be an important factor."

"Women had a greater proportion of emergency surgery, which was related to the predominance of proximal cancers in this gender."

"Women also had more proximal cancers, thereby limiting flexible sigmoidoscopy as a screening test."

Am J Gastroenterol 2008: 103(6): 1488-95
13 June 2008

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