Why Does Cancer Affects Men and Women Differently?

There are several distinguishable features in males’ and females’ personalities and appearances, making them different. Medical researchers have proven considerable differences in men and women about how their bodies contract and deal with other diseases. According to statistics, one in every three women is at risk of developing a disease. At the same time, one in every two men is at risk. Cancer, a life-threatening disease, is also more common in men than women. Science has proven that both genders have different responses to it.
Women are most likely to fall under the effect of colon, lung, cervical, breast, or skin cancer. At the same time, men are most likely to be afflicted with prostate, lung, skin, and colon cancer. Women have also shown more likeliness to survive these ailments. There is a lesser chance for men to survive cancer than women. There is almost a fifteen percent less chance for men than women. These differences emanated from several different types of research on the subject. They only recently studied to discover why cancer affects men and women differently. Let’s have a look at some of these most significant reasons:

  1. Lifestyle Factors
    Men and women have significantly different lifestyles, depending on their practical jobs and roles. A recent study suggested that lifestyle factors like cigarette smoking, drugs, alcohol consumption, and intake of oily food are more common in men. These reasons could lead to diseases as mild as acidity and as severe as cancer. Liver cancer, for instance, is two times more common in men than women because of their heavier alcohol drinking.
    Similarly, men are more exposed to asbestos which causes mesothelioma, especially those with a military background. You can file a lawsuit against the people responsible for asbestos exposure by talking about this type of cancer. All you need to do is find a good mesothelioma lawyer who can help them fight a case and recover most of the medical cost for treatment.
    Other than this, women visit doctors more frequently than men and are more likely to undergo essential cancer screenings, which can help in early diagnosis and finding help. Men often try to avoid medical care. Their cancer symptoms go unchecked for a long time, leading to diagnosis at much later and in advanced stages. Men also have weaker social connections than females, so it takes longer to communicate with their physicians freely. It lowers their chances of survival and makes them more vulnerable to the disease.
  2. Biological Factors
    Some types of cancer are more common in women for many reasons, mainly biological. For instance, females are more likely to get afflicted with brain cancer; the cause of it is meningioma which takes up fifteen percent of brain tumors. This tumor consists of estrogen and progestin receptors, the female sex hormones. These hormones are necessary for the sexual development of women and the regulation of their menstrual cycles. It is how the hormonal environment of the female body becomes relevant to the cause of brain cancer. Women are also more likely to get gallbladder cancer; they are twice at risk of this ailment than men. The female body has a higher chance of forming gallstones due to biliary cholesterol secretion from estrogens. The chronic inflation from these gallstones can subsequently lead to gallbladder cancer. Additionally, history shows women are more overweight than men. Hence, they are more likely to fall sick because of colon cancer.
  3. Genetic Differences
    The genetic differences in males and females are undeniable; while most women have XX chromosomes, most men have XY chromosomes. A group of researchers from Harvard and MIT discovered that the X-chromosome helps tumor suppressor genes inactivating tumor cells. Since females have two copies of the X chromosomes, they likely have a double dose of tumor suppressor. On the other hand, males only have a single such gene in their XY chromosome. It could be why they are at a higher risk of getting afflicted with the cancerous disease. Geneticists have agreed that women have extra protection because of their tumor suppressor genes. Suppose one of those X genes undergoes a mutation. In that case, the other copy remains functional and protects the body against peculiar cell production.
    Similarly, genetic polymorphism, a metabolizing enzyme for drugs, is found in men’s lower quantities than women’s. It decreases their risk of surviving cancer, while women are more likely to benefit from medicines. It is also why men are reported at a higher risk of acute leukemia.
  4. Sex Hormones
    Sex hormones may significantly contribute to differences in cancer incidence between the two genders. Estrogen and progesterone are primary female sex hormones; meanwhile, testosterone is the primary male sex hormone. However, both genders do produce small amounts of alternative hormones. The female sex hormone estrogen inhibits polymorphisms which is a significant reason behind acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL). As the male body doesn’t produce enough hormones, they are more likely to risk leukemia. But estrogen is expected to contribute to the formation of thyroid cancer in women because it increases the production of human thyroid cells. And it also promotes the growth of other supporting cells.
    Similarly, endogenous female sex hormone-like progestin causes bile acid excretion. It creates a significant and potential threat of malignant colons and causes colon cancer. Fortunately, exogenous estrogen decreases the other type of bile acid production, which fights against colon cancers.
  5. Reactions to Toxicity of Chemotherapy
    Chemotherapy is a cancer treatment procedure that uses anti-cancer drugs to slow down and stop the production of cancerous cells. Male and females have significant genetic and molecular differences, which affect their response to medication. 5FU, an anti-cancer drug, showed a higher clearance rate in men. On the other hand, the female body was more toxic and had severe side effects such as alopecia and diarrhea. Paclitaxel, another anti-cancer medicine, induced lesser elimination in females than in males. As a result, they developed severe leukopenia. Other anti-cancer medications, such as doxorubicin, have a similar pattern. Female children are more susceptible to cardiotoxicity than male children. This element has little to do with gender-based survival.
    Nonetheless, the toxicity of chemotherapy affects both men and women in various ways. Although, science has repeatedly proven that women have a much higher production of antibodies which makes their immune system more robust than men. It could be one of the reasons why women have a greater survival rate than males with cancer, even though women have worse reactions to chemotherapy toxicity.
    In conclusion, both men and women need to be cautious about their lifestyle practices and maintain healthy living. Because, as human beings, they are prone to several infectious diseases. Both genders need to realize the importance of choosing a healthier lifestyle to protect themselves from cancer.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top