When it comes to cancer, men are more likely to receive treatment for tumors, while women are more likely to receive pain-relieving treatment

With certain types of cancer, men are more likely to receive treatments aimed at curing or shrinking the tumor, such as chemotherapy. Women are more likely to receive pain relief and other treatments aimed at providing relief. This is evident from research by the Dutch Integrated Cancer Center (IKNL), De Volkskrant reported on Monday.

It is still unclear why these differences in treatment exist. This may be due to different patient preferences.

Differences in treatment

Last year, more than 120,000 people were diagnosed with cancer in the Netherlands. More than 65,000 men versus 58,000 women. Women are at the highest risk for breast cancer, and men are at the highest risk for prostate cancer. The report, entitled Differences between men and women in cancer, shows that men often receive different treatment than women.

Men are more likely to receive treatments such as chemotherapy that aim to cure or shrink the tumor. Women, especially older women, are more likely to take pain medication.

Cancer treatment options depend on several factors: the stage of the disease, the person’s age, and comorbidities. This explains some differences, but not all.

The difference is striking, but much is still unknown about the effectiveness and complications of the treatment. According to the IKNL report, it is therefore important to involve more women in research, to specifically investigate gender differences and, above all, to find out why they exist.


The report also shows that survival rates can vary between men and women depending on the type and stage of cancer. In general, women have a greater chance of survival than men. Bladder cancer is one of the exceptions. Men have a better chance of surviving with this disease.

For some tumor types, differences in the stage of the disease play a role in the diagnosis. Differences in treatment and effectiveness may also differ between men and women. More and more targeted research aims to provide more clarity about the cause of these differences in survival.

Source: HealthNet