Gender Disparities in Cancer Treatment and Survival Rates in the Netherlands: A Report by the Integrated Cancer Center of the Netherlands (IKNL)

by time news

2023-11-20 23:00:57
Title: Study reveals differences in cancer treatment between men and women in the Netherlands

A recent report by the Integrated Cancer Center of the Netherlands (IKNL) has shed light on notable differences in cancer treatment between men and women in the country. The study, which looked at the indication in cancer patients, the treatment, survival rates, and quality of life, highlighted disparities in the way men and women are diagnosed and treated for cancer.

According to the report, men with a rare form of cancer are generally referred more quickly after the first visit to the GP and are more likely to receive a correct diagnosis immediately. On the other hand, women less often receive systematic treatment aimed at healing or life extension, and more often receive treatment aimed at reducing complaints. The report did not provide an official reason for this disparity but suggested that it could also be a choice made by the women themselves.

Some interesting facts highlighted in the report include the statistic that cancer is more common in men than in women, with 52 percent of new cancer patients being men. Women are often diagnosed at a younger age than men, with a median age of 67 years compared to 71 years for men. Additionally, 71 percent of women are still alive five years after diagnosis, while this is 65 percent for men.

The study also included a personal account from Herman, 71, from Alphen aan den Rijn, and his wife Riet, who both had cancer a few years ago. The couple opted for different treatment approaches, with Herman choosing to forego treatment due to concerns about potential side effects. Riet, on the other hand, underwent severe treatment, including a stem cell transplant in combination with chemotherapy, and has since been cured.

Researcher Melinda Schuurman of IKNL emphasized that the study is intended to raise awareness and draw attention to the differences in cancer treatment between men and women. The hope is that the findings will prompt further investigation into the origins of these disparities and ultimately lead to more tailored and effective treatments for all cancer patients.

The recent report comes amidst a significant increase in the number of Dutch people diagnosed with cancer over the last thirty years. Roughly half of Dutch people now have to deal with the disease, underscoring the importance of understanding and addressing the various factors that contribute to differential treatment outcomes.]
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