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Hepatogastroenterology. 1989 Oct;36(5):379-83.

Better survival in women than in men after radical resection of hepatocellular carcinoma.

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Second Department of Surgery, Shimane Medical University, Izumo, Japan.


During the period between January 1980 and December 1987, 229 male and 39 female adult patients with primary hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) were hospitalized in our unit. Radical hepatic resection was carried out in 90 (39.3%) males and 17 (43.6%) females in whom no specific cancer treatment had been attempted preoperatively. The 1-, 3-, and 5-year survival rates in the male and female patients were 78% and 70%, 45% and 52%, and 19% and 52%, respectively. The difference was significant after 47 months. No substantial differences were found between the two groups with respect to age, preoperative clinical condition and laboratory data, method of liver resection, postoperative morbidity and mortality, postoperative adjuvant chemotherapy, and histopathology of HCC and the liver. Only the incidence of alcohol abuse was significantly different, being higher in male than in female patients. However, the survival analysis demonstrated that alcohol abuse had had no influence on recurrence rate and long-term survival in either male or female patients. As a control, survival was analyzed for the patients with similar clinicopathological background but without HCC who had undergone distal splenorenal shunt for esophageal varices. There was no significant difference between the male and female patients. The current clinical results seems to support our hypothesis based upon sex hormone receptor studies that HCC may be androgen-dependent.

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