Gender discrepancies in bladder cancer: potential explanations

Bladder Cancer
08/09/2020

Expert Rev Anticancer Ther. 2020 Sep 8. doi: 10.1080/14737140.2020.1813029. Online ahead of print.

ABSTRACT

Gender differences in urothelial carcinoma of the bladder (UCB) exist. Although men have a higher incidence of UCB, women tend to have poorer outcomes. We have explored and summarized the evidence for gender differences of UCB diagnosis and prognosis, together with reasons for these disparities. Areas covered: The incidence of UCB is 3-4 times higher in men than women. However, women are more likely to be diagnosed with advanced disease. Women have a higher stage-for-stage mortality compared to


men, and their greatest risk of death appears to be within the first 2 years of diagnosis. Survival outcomes following radical cystectomy (RC) and radiotherapy are also poorer in women. Delays in diagnosis, differences in female anatomy as well as poorer surgical outcomes post-RC appear to contribute significantly to the disparities noted between genders. Other factors such as exposure to risk factors, differential hormone signaling and carcinogen breakdown may also have a role. Expert opinion: The gender divide in UCB outcomes have to be addressed. Improved medical and patient education and centralization of RC are recommended.