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Men Face Twice The Odds Of Cancer Than Women – But Why? New Study Reveals

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Jiya Saini
Jiya Saini is a Journalist and Writer at Revyuh.com. She has been working with us since January 2018. After studying at Jamia Millia University, she is fascinated by smart lifestyle and smart living. She covers technology, games, sports and smart living, as well as good experience in press relations. She is also a freelance trainer for macOS and iOS, and In the past, she has worked with various online news magazines in India and Singapore. Email: jiya (at) revyuh (dot) com

Most types of cancer are more common in men than in women, and no one knows why.

Results from a current study imply that the cause may be underlying biological sex differences as opposed to behavioral differences linked to smoking, alcohol usage, food, and other factors.

The study was published by Wiley online in CANCER, a peer-reviewed journal of the American Cancer Society.

Understanding why the risk of cancer is different for men and women could help improve cancer prevention and treatment.

In order to learn more, Sarah S. Jackson, PhD, of the National Cancer Institute, a division of the National Institutes of Health, and her colleagues evaluated variations in cancer risk for each of 21 cancer sites among 171,274 male and 122,826 female adults ages 50 to 71 who were enrolled in the NIH-AARP Diet and Health study from 1995 to 2011.

During that time, there were 17,951 new cases of cancer in men and 8,742 in women.

Only thyroid and gallbladder cancers were less common in males than in women, and risks were 1.3 to 10.8 times higher in men than in women at other anatomic locations.

Men were most at risk for esophageal cancer (10.8% greater risk), larynx (3.5 times higher risk), gastric cardia (3.5 times higher risk), and bladder cancer (a 3.3-times higher risk).

Even after accounting for a wide range of risk factors and carcinogenic exposures, men still had a higher risk of developing most malignancies.

Indeed, the male predominance of most malignancies was only partially explained by variations in risk behaviors and carcinogenic exposures between the sexes (ranging from 11 percent for esophageal cancer to 50 percent for lung cancer).

The results imply that biological variations between sexes, such as physiological, immunological, genetic, and other factors, significantly influence whether men or women are more susceptible to developing cancer.

“Our results show that there are differences in cancer incidence that are not explained by environmental exposures alone,” says Dr. Jackson, adding “This suggests that there are intrinsic biological differences between men and women that affect susceptibility to cancer.”

The report recommends that “sex should be strategically” included as a biological determinant along the entire cancer continuum from risk prediction and cancer primary prevention, cancer screening and secondary prevention, to cancer therapy and patient management. 

Image Credit: Getty

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