Gender difference in cancer susceptibility, incidence, prognosis and aggressiveness have been observed for several types of tumors. Environmental and occupational exposures along with hormonal and immunological differences may be responsible for the disparity between males and females. Tumor immune surveillance, a recognized major physiological mechanism against cancer development and progression, is largely sex-dependent with a great activity in females respect to males. However, up today, no clinical trial evaluating new drugs or treatment strategy have been performed in a gender-specific manner and our knowledge derived from subgroup analysis, especially for what concerns women population. In this review, the authors point out gender differences in cancer epidemiology, response to treatments, toxicity and tumors related side effects. Colorectal and lung cancers will also described in order to underline the main gender differences.
Keywords: Gender Medicine, Cancer Susceptibility, Sex Hormones, Immune Surveillance, Colorectal cancer, Lung Cancer