What are the differences in non–small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) susceptibility between males and females?

Updated: Jul 15, 2021
  • Author: Winston W Tan, MD, FACP; Chief Editor: Nagla Abdel Karim, MD, PhD  more...
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Answer

Although tobacco smoking is the major cause of lung cancer, it is now believed that males and females may differ in their susceptibility to the carcinogenic effects of tobacco smoke. This difference may be due to differences in DNA repair mechanisms. Although still considered controversial, it is well known that women are more likely to develop adenocarcinomas and that, stage for stage, women live longer. In addition, differences in response to certain biologic therapies (eg, epidermal growth factor [EGF] inhibitors) and antiangiogenic agents have been observed between sexes.


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