Medical sexism: Women suffer from cancer treatment more than men – scientists

Медицинский сексизм: Женщины страдают от лечения рака больше, чем мужчины - ученые

Side effects of drugs for cancer treatment have a greater impact on women than on men.

The Oncology Fund Royal Marsden NHS Foundation, who led the research in collaboration with the Division of clinical trials of medical research Council United Kingdom find these findings interesting, because they can help to adapt the results by gender of the patients.

The researchers analyzed the data from four different U.S. Universities. In the analysis of 3265 patients (2668 male patients and 597 women), the researchers found that patients are significantly more likely to experience nausea (10% vs 5%), vomiting (10% vs 4%) and diarrhea (9 % vs 4%). It was found that treatment side effects manifest themselves stronger in relation to female, as studies of drugs in most cases were held on the male test group.

Avani Athauda, one of the lead authors of the study and a clinical researcher of the Fund Royal Marsden NHS Foundation, explains: “We tend to use the standard approach to the treatment of cancer of the esophagus and stomach.” This study suggests that there are important differences between patients, male and female, not only in how they respond to chemotherapy, but also on how long they live after cancer treatment. For female patients, you may want to provide additional information and advice on side effects of cancer treatment and the appointment of chemotherapy.” According to doctors, it is necessary to minimize the manifestation of the so-called “medical sexism”, when treating patients of different sexes.

“We already know, – he adds – that there are important differences in the biology of these cancer patients and we plan to conduct additional studies at the genetic level, so there may be differences in how patients benefit from chemotherapy, and the differences that we observed between the patients, male and female, subjected to the same treatment.”

Professor David Cunningham, consultant medical oncologist at the Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Foundation and one of the lead authors of the study, says that this is an important conclusion, based on large-scale dataset, and contributes to the overall understanding of the nature of cancer both sexes and their treatment.