Purpose: The purpose of this study was to clarify the gender differences in the prognosis, as well as mortality and morbidity, of patients who have undergone esophagectomy for esophageal cancer. Methods: The clinical results of esophagectomy were compared between 975 male and 156 female patients with esophageal cancer. Results: The male to female ratios of cervical and thoracic esophageal cancer were 1.87 and 7.38, respectively (P < 0.01). The incidence of preoperative comorbidities was 32.4 and 17.4 %, respectively, and the rates of both tobacco and alcohol abuse were significantly lower in the females than in the males. The mortality rate was lower in the females (3.8 %) than in the males (5.7 %), although the differences were not significant. The overall survival was significantly better in the female than in the male patients (P = 0.039). The 5- and 10-year overall survival rates were 32.6 and 20.5 % in the males and 39.5 and 32.5 % in the females, respectively. A multivariate analysis revealed gender to be an independent prognostic factor. However, no significant differences were recognized in disease-specific survival. Conclusions: These results suggest that the prognosis of females with esophageal cancer is better than that of males after esophagectomy, most likely due to multiple clinical factors, such as a more favorable lifestyle and general status.
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