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Study: Estrogen may influence life expectancy in colorectal cancer patients

Category: Colon

Certain hormones could help younger with colorectal cancer to live longer with the disease, according to a new study.

A study published in the September 29 edition of the journal Clinical Cancer Research analyzed medical records of 52,882 patients who had metastatic colorectal cancer over a 16-year period, HealthDay News reports.

The scientists found that younger women between 18-years-old and 44-years-old, lived an average of three months longer with the disease than men in the same age group. However, in colorectal cancer patients over 44-years-old, men outlived women by an average of two months.

Dr Heinz-Josef Lenz, co-director of gastrointestinal oncology and colorectal cancer at the University of Southern California, told the news source he believes estrogen levels account for these discrepancies in life expectancy. "We've known for a while that estrogen prevents colorectal cancer, but this is the first study to suggest it may improve outcomes once you have colorectal cancer."

Researchers noted that improvements in care over the period of study may have affected the results, noting that patients diagnosed after 2000 lived longer than their counterparts who were diagnosed before the century mark.

The CDC estimates that the number of new colorectal cancer cases could be reduced by about 90 percent if all cases were identified through lab testing procedures.

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