Grundmann RT, Meyer F
Zentralbl Chir. 2014 Apr;139(2):184-92. doi: 10.1055/s-0034-1368231. Epub 2014 Apr 28.
Background: This overview comments on gender-specific differences in incidence, risk factors and prognosis in patients with carcinoma of the liver, gallbladder, extrahepatic bile duct and pancreas.
Method: For the literature review, the MEDLINE database (PubMed) was searched under the key words "liver cancer", "gallbladder cancer", "extrahepatic bile duct carcinoma", "pancreatic cancer" AND "gender".
Results: There were significant gender differences in the epidemiology of the analysed carcinomas. The incidence of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is much higher in men than in women, one of 86 men, but only 1 out of 200 women develop a malignant primary liver tumour in Germany in the course of their life. The lifetime risk for carcinomas of the gallbladder and extrahepatic bile ducts in Germany amounts to about 0.6 % for women and 0.5 % for men, specifically gallbladder carcinomas are observed more frequently in women than in men. For pancreatic cancer, no clear gender preference exists in Germany, although the mortality risk for men is higher than that for women (age-adjusted standardised death rate in men 12.8/100, 000 persons, in women 9.5). Remarkable is furthermore the shift of the tumour incidence in the last decades. Liver cancer has increased among men in Germany by about 50 % in the last 30 years, the incidence of gallbladder carcinoma has inversely dropped. The prognosis of these cancers across all tumour stages is uniformly bad in an unselected patient population. This is probably the main reason why only little - if any - gender differences in survival are described.
Conclusion: In addition to avoiding the known risk factors such as hepatitis B and C virus infection, alcohol abuse, and smoking, the avoidance of overweight and obesity plays an increasingly important role in the prevention of these cancers.
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