Sex-based differences in histology, staging, and prognosis among 2983 gastric cancer surgery patients

World J Gastroenterol. 2022 Mar 7;28(9):933-947. doi: 10.3748/wjg.v28.i9.933.


Background: Few studies have been conducted on sex differences in the incidence, pathophysiology, and prognosis of gastric cancer (GC).

Aim: To analyze the differences in GC characteristics according to sex in patients who underwent surgical treatment for GC.

Methods: A total of 2983 patients diagnosed with gastric adenocarcinoma who received surgical treatment at the Seoul National University Bundang Hospital between 2003 and 2017 were included. Baseline clinicopathological characteristics, histologic type of GC, overall and GC-specific survival rates, and associated risk factors were analyzed.

Results: Among the 2983 patients, 2005 (67.2%) and 978 (32.8%) were males and females, respectively. The average age of the female group (59.36 years) was significantly younger than that of the male group (61.66 years; P < 0.001). Cancer of the gastric body (P < 0.001) and diffuse-type histology (P < 0.001) were more common in females than in males. This trend was more prominent in females younger than 60 years of age, with a significantly higher proportion of diffuse-type cancer than in the male group. Regardless of sex, diffuse-type GC was more common in younger patients, and the proportion of intestinal-type GC increased with age. The overall survival rate was significantly higher in females (P < 0.001). However, this difference disappeared for GC-specific survival (P = 0.168), except for the poor GC-specific survival rate in advanced-stage cancer (stage III or above) in females (P = 0.045). The risk factors for GC-related mortality were older age, upper location of GC, and diffuse- or mixed-type histology. In terms of comorbidities, more males died from diseases other than GC, including other malignancies such as lung cancer, hepatocellular carcinoma, and pancreatic cancer, and respiratory diseases such as interstitial lung disease and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, while there were relatively more cardiovascular or cerebrovascular deaths in females.

Conclusion: Sex-based differences in GC were observed in clinicopathological features, including age at diagnosis, tumor location, histologic type, survival rate, and comorbidities.

Keywords: Gastric cancer; Histology; Prognosis; Sex difference; Survival.

MeSH terms

  • Adenocarcinoma* / pathology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prognosis
  • Sex Characteristics
  • Stomach Neoplasms* / pathology
  • Survival Rate