Men tend to have a higher risk of cancer than women, and factors such as smoking, alcohol use, and diet do not appear to explain this disparity. cancer.
Researchers compared gender differences for 21 types of cancer and found that men had higher rates of most cancers studied.
In most cases, this increased susceptibility cannot be explained by exposure to carcinogens. Researchers theorize that it may be explained by correlated biological differences between men and women.
The study evaluated behavior, anthropometrics, lifestyle, and medical history and was designed to explain the higher cancer risk in men. Data from the survey (1995-2011) were analyzed.
The cohort included 171,274 male and 122,826 female participants. A total of 26,693 cancers occurred, 17,951 in men and 8,742 in women.
Males had a lower age-adjusted incidence of thyroid cancer (incidence ratio [IRR], 0.59; 95% CI, 0.49-0.70) and women than gallbladder cancer (IRR, 0.65; 95% CI, 0.44-0.94). The incidence of anal cancer was similar between groups (IRR 0.97; 95% CI 0.70-1.34).
Males had a higher incidence than females for all other cancer types studied. cancer (IRR, 4.93; 95% CI, 3.59-6.77), and laryngeal cancer (IRR, 3.99; 95% CI). , 3.07-5.17).
These three cancers had the highest male-to-female hazard ratio (HR) when investigators adjusted for demographic, lifestyle, and dietary factors. , 7.33-15.90), 3.53 (95% CI, 2.46-5.06) for laryngeal cancer, and 3.49 (95% CI, 2.26-5.37) for gastric cardia cancer.
In adjusted analyses, men remained at lower risk of thyroid cancer (HR, 0.55; 95% CI, 0.46-0.66) and gallbladder cancer (HR, 0.33; 95% CI, 0.18-0.58).
The researchers noted that risk factors accounted for excess rates in men for esophageal adenocarcinoma and cancers of the liver, other biliary tracts, bladder, skin, colon, rectum, and lung.
“However, only a small proportion of overdose in men can be explained by risk factors (ranging from 50% for lung cancer to 11% for esophageal adenocarcinoma),” the researchers wrote.
“Together, our results suggest that gender-related biological factors, rather than differences in carcinogen exposure, are the main determinants of gender differences in cancer risk at most common anatomical sites. Higher cancer susceptibility at common anatomical sites in males is associated with potential roles of mechanisms between sexes, including physiological, immunological, genetic, epigenetic, and genomic mechanisms. It is hypothesized that it arises from several interrelated biological differences.
The researchers suggested that a global assessment of these mechanisms across cancer sites should be performed to characterize whether they contribute to the increased cancer burden in men. .
Disclosure: One study author declared an affiliation with Merck. See the original reference for details.
Jackson SS, Marks MA, Katki HA et al. Gender differences in the incidence of 21 cancers: quantifying the contribution of risk factors. cancerPublished online August 8, 2022. doi:10.1002/cncr.34390