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Chemo Side Effects More Prevalent in Women Than Men

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Your gender may influence how you experience chemo side effects, as a new study has found that women are more likely to have them.

Researchers analyzed data from trials involving 1,654 patients that received different combinations of chemotherapy for esophageal and stomach cancer. For common chemo side effects like nausea, vomiting and diarrhea, women experienced significantly higher rates of those effects. For example, 89% of women experienced nausea and vomiting compared to 78% of men. And 81% of women saw hair loss compared to 74% of men.

Women were also more likely to suffer serious adverse events as a result of treatment that often led to hospitalization. Chemotherapy was found to have similar efficacy in both sexes in terms of survival, though men tended to experience a greater reduction in tumor size.

The researchers noted that the findings indicate that chemotherapy doses may need to be adjusted for women.

The results were presented at the recent European Society for Medical Oncology Congress and have yet to be published in a peer-reviewed medical journal.

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