The role of gender in the development, treatment and prognosis of thoracic malignancies has been underappreciated and understudied. While most research has been grounded in tobacco-related malignancies, the incidence of non-smoking related lung cancer is on the rise and disproportionately affecting women. Recent research studies have unveiled critical differences between men and women with regard to risk factors, timeliness of diagnosis, incongruent screening practices, molecular and genetic mechanisms, as well as response to treatment and survival. These studies also highlight the increasingly recognized need for targeted therapies that account for variations in the response and complications as a function of gender. Similarly, screening recommendations continue to evolve as the role of gender is starting to be ellucidated. As women have been underrepresented in clinical trials until recently, the data regarding optimal care and outcomes is still lagging behind. Understanding the underlying similarities and differences between men and women is paramount to providing adequate care and prognostication to patients of either gender. This review provides an overview of the critical role that gender plays in the care of patients with non-small cell lung cancer and other thoracic malignancies, with an emphasis on the need for increased awareness and further research to continue elucidating these disparities.
View details for DOI 10.21037/jtd-20-3128
View details for PubMedID 34277072
View details for PubMedCentralID PMC8264700