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Age and Gender Affect Survival in Metastatic Colorectal Cancer

More News from ASCO 2008

Although men and women with metastatic colon or rectal cancer have similar overall survival after their diagnosis, age has an impact.  Women in premenopausal years, 18 to 44, live longer than younger men.  However, after the age of 75, women have significant worse survival than men.

Across all age groups, Hispanics survive the longest, followed by whites, Asians, African Americans, and, finally, Native Americans according to a study from the University of Southern California Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center and reported at ASCO.

USC researchers reviewed information for 56,600 men and women with metastatic colon and rectal cancer in the Surveillance, Epidemiology and End Results (SEER) database from 1988 through 2003.  Independent of age, there was no difference in survival between men and women, but once age was added to the analysis, there were significant differences between how long men lived compared to women. Ethnic background also affected survival.

In a news release from USC, Heinz-Josef Lenz, M.D., professor of medicine at the Keck School of medicine one of the researchers leading the study, said,

This study provides further evidence that estrogen may play an important role not only in colon cancer development but also progression of the disease, and may impact how we develop therapies for women and men with colon cancer.

SOURCE: Abstract 4015, Andrew Hendifar, M.D. MPH, Sex, age, and ethnicity are associated with survival in metastatic colorectal cancer, ASCO 2008.

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