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Men and Women Can Feel Different Side Effects after Chemotherapy

Chemotherapy is a method of cancer treatment that involves the use of chemical agents to manage cancer. Cancer researchers believe that gender influences the type and rate at which cancer grows. Men have a higher likelihood of getting cancer than women. But women are at a higher risk of getting specific cancer types. 

First-line Chemotherapy Research

The study was based on stomach and esophagus cancer. It concludes that men and women share the same level of chemotherapy toxins, but they still undergo different side effects.

The side effects of chemotherapy in women include:

  • Experiencing frequent hair loss
  • Ulcers in the mouth 
  • Nausea & vomiting and diarrhea
  • Having more infections due to low white blood cells compared to men

Men may experience numbness, weakness, and pain, mainly in the feet and hands. 

A separate study from Shayma Kazmi (oncologist & hematologist at Cancer Treatment Centers of America) also supports this by saying that indeed, women and men could be experiencing varying side effects related to chemotherapy.

Shayma Kazmi says:

  • Women feel more comfortable while talking to their doctors than most men do.
  • Women report more on their physical side effects of nausea and stomach discomfort.
  • Men who have diarrhea or other side effects may never tell their doctor.
  • Women are more likely to discuss how cancer and treatments may be affecting their sexual activities.
  • Many men donot discuss issues withtheir loved onesor their doctors.
  • Women are more likely to openly discuss their concerns, depression and anxiety. Men on the other handneed to be pushed to open up and discuss their concerns or problems.

The study on how gender influences the patient’s experience for cancer is in its first phase, and not yet established. The new reviews will only allow doctors to document the differences in how men and women experience cancer development and response to treatment due to metabolic differences. However, there is not enough data yet to act upon these gender variations.

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