The incidences of colorectal cancer have increased significantly in both developed and developing countries. This study evaluates the gender- and age-specific survival rates and mortality from 2011 to 2015. Moreover, it estimates the distribution and magnitude of colorectal cancer within the same period. Although there are other studies in this area, this research is unique because it provides age and gender survival rates and mortality from 2011 to 2015 in Saudi Arabia. The results prove that age and gender disparities influence the incidences of colorectal cancer. Men have a higher risk of death than women in Saudi Arabia. The strong design method ensures that the study is scientific. However, variable factors including topography and stage of cancer influence the median survival time. Hence, stakeholders should focus on the age and sex differences in the management of colorectal cancer in the country.
Few studies have established the role of age and gender differences on the incidence of colorectal cancer in Saudi Arabia. The current study focuses on the survival and mortality rates of colorectal cancer patients based on age and gender from 2011 to 2015. The changes in lifestyle due to economic and nutritional changes have increased the incidence of colorectal cancer in the country (8). The survival and mortality rates of cancer patients vary depending on both aspects gender and age. The sample population comprised 3764 males and 3111 females. Although the participants were divided into six groups, they were all from Saudi Arabia.
The study has proved that age plays a significant role in the survival rates of colorectal cancer patients. The results indicate that 50 % of female patients had a median survival equal or less to 5.86 years. Conversely, male patients had a higher median survival of 6 years than female respondents of 6 years. The dependent variable age was controlled with the median age set at 58 years. Although there are no significant differences between the two genders below three years, female patients carry a higher risk of death in the 3 to 5 years category. Men are more likely to die from cancer than women in Saudi Arabia. This study affirms the results of an earlier study that people above the age of 50 are at an increased risk (1). Besides, incidence rates vary by gender globally with men afflicted more than women (13). However, it is difficult to explain these differences due to the limitation of the descriptive study design. In addition, from survival function, cancer patients with age greater than 75 years had a higher risk than the other participants in the study. The results indicate that median survival time is equal to 4.25 years for patients aged 75 and over. Hence, women in Saudi Arabia have a higher risk of mortality than their male counterparts.
Age differences between the participants denote the risk of mortality. However, it is worth noting that the time of diagnosis affects the accuracy of this study. For example, patients that are diagnosed when their cancer has advanced have a higher risk of death in comparison to those who were diagnosed early. This study has found out that patients below 30 years have a higher mortality rate compared to those with age greater than 30. The results could be attributed to their late stage diagnosis for our study population. Moreover, gender influences the rate of mortality. However, the explanation for such gender variability remains incomplete, with commentators citing complex interactions between sex-specific risk factor exposure, protective effects associated with endogenous and exogenous hormones, and gender-specific differences found in screening practices (13). Hence, older female patients have a higher risk of death than male patients in the same category.
This study found no association between the location of patient and survival. The sample population was coded from their places of origin, including Central, Eastern, Northern, Western, Southern, and Unknown (other regions). A comparative study suggested that two-thirds of incidences and about 60% of mortality from colorectal cancer occurs in countries with high or very high human development index (9). However, incidence rates have been rising in the developing world in recent years, a development associated with westernization and changes in lifestyle and nutrition (13). The results were relatively similar to national figures since Saudi Arabia is fairly developed due to oil-related economic growth.
The stage of cancer directly affects the median survival time. The hypothesis of the study indicates that patients in the later stage have a shorter survival span. This study proved a significant relationship between stage and survival time. The median survival is equal to 2.9 for distant metastasis while it is 6 for the localized category. Patients with distant metastasis carried a higher risk of death compared to other patients in all groups. However, the incidence of colorectal cancer varies along gender lines. Earlier data from 2012 shows similar patterns, with colorectal cancer ranking first in incidence among men at 13.3% and third among women at 9.3% (10). This study proves that male and female patients have the same risk of death if colorectal cancer is less than 3 years. Hence, all colorectal cancer patients should seek early medical intervention to increase their survival median time.
Prognostic factors influence the survival and mortality rates of colorectal cancer in Saudi Arabia. This study achieved its objective of establishing gender- and age-specific survival rates and mortality from 2011 to 2015. Being female is a bad prognostic factor because the mortality rate of women is higher than that in men. However, the variables of age and the dependent factor of stage affects the median survival age. Patients in the distant metastasis stage have a lower survival rate and higher mortality than patients in the localized group despite the variables of age and gender. This study reiterates previous studies that men have a higher incidence of contracting colorectal cancer. However, females have lower survival rates than male patients. Hence, the prognostic factors of age and gender should be incorporated in colorectal cancer management.
There are some limitations and caveats in interpreting the current study. Firstly, the descriptive epidemiology design lacks a control group, as the data is collected from case reports. Future studies should include a control experiment to enhance comparative analysis. Secondly, the quality of the study was affected by many missing variables. The unknown independent and dependent factors hinder the researcher from making a cause and effect analysis.
Previous studies focused on the relationship between age and gender in colorectal cancer in developed countries. However, this study addresses the gap in literature on the survival rate and mortality of colorectal cancer in Saudi Arabia. The results indicate that men have higher mortality rates and lower survival rate than women. For developing countries, these results have both practical and clinical implications in health management and policymaking. Besides, the study showed cancer prevalence disparities in the country’s different areas of study. Future studies in this area should focus on the prevalence and mortality differences between the six regions of Saudi Arabia.
Colorectal cancer is one of the most prevalent cancers globally and in Saudi Arabia. Survival and mortality rates are influenced by age and gender. The incidence of colorectal cancer is high in Saudi Arabia with rates similar to developed countries due to westernization and socioeconomic development. This study contends that age is a significant prognostic factor. Although the variables of topography and cancer stage impact the mortality and survival rates, older patients have a higher threat of death than those below the median age. Similarly, men have a shorter survival rate due to social and cultural issues. Policymakers should focus on the earlier diagnosis of colorectal cancer to improve health outcomes for both male and female patients. Hence, the results of this research have practical clinical implications by bridging the gaps in knowledge.
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