[Gender-specific influences on incidence, screening, treatment, and outcome of colorectal cancer].

Zentralblatt fur Chirurgie

PubMedID: 23950079

Grundmann RT, Meyer F. [Gender-specific influences on incidence, screening, treatment, and outcome of colorectal cancer]. Zentralbl Chir. 2013;138(4):434-41.
Background: This overview comments on potential gender-specific differences in incidence, anatomic site, screening, treatment, and outcome in patients with colorectal cancer (CRC). Method: For the literature review, the Medline database (PubMed) was searched under the key words "colorectal carcinoma AND gender" and "gender differences AND colorectal cancer". Publications of the last 9 years (2005-2013) were firstly retrieved. Results: CRC is more commonly observed in men than in women, with the higher tumour risk for men being limited to the distal colon and rectum. Risk factors for the development of CRC include overweight and obesity, this relationship is more pronounced for men than for women. The extent to which gender is a prognostic factor for patient survival is controversial. A better survival of women compared to men is found especially in the younger age groups, from which can be derived a protective effect of oestrogens on the development of CRC. As for the frequency with which men and women undergo a screening of CRC, sometimes higher screening rates have been reported for men than women, however, the socio-economic status of persons invited to participate has much more influence on screening attendance than gender. An analysis of surgical procedures indicates that it is more difficult to perform the low anterior resection of the rectum in men than women, with the result that men managed by less experienced surgeons are more likely to receive abdominoperineal excision. Furthermore, the risk of anastomotic leakage is higher in men than women. Conclusion: The essential gender difference, however, is the longer life expectancy of women compared to men which has been not always clearly (risk adjusted) elaborated in the studies available so far. This difference alone can already explain at a high rate the poorer prognosis of right-sided colon cancers compared to left-sided cancers. Comparable levels of CRC risk are reached in women as compared to men at a higher age. This may influence the effectiveness of screening programmes and has not been sufficiently examined. Evidence suggests the adaptation of screening recommendations to this fact.