Unique Considerations for Females Undergoing Esophagectomy

Tamar B. Nobel, Jennifer Livschitz, Mahmoud Eljalby, Yelena Y. Janjigian, Manjit S. Bains, Prasad S. Adusumilli, David R. Jones, Daniela Molena

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


Objective: To improve understanding of sex differences in clinicopathologic characteristics, treatment and outcomes between male and female patients undergoing esophagectomy for esophageal cancer. Summary Background Data: Esophageal cancer is a male predominant disease, and sex has not been considered in previous studies as an important factor in diagnosis or management. Sex differences in demographics, clinicopathologic characteristics, and postoperative outcomes remain largely undefined. Methods: Retrospective review of 1958 patients (21% female) with esophageal cancer who underwent esophagectomy at a single institution between 1995 and 2017. Results: Most patients had adenocarcinoma (83%); however, the rate of squamous cell carcinoma was significantly higher in females (35% vs 11%, respectively; P < .0001). Females had a lower rate of smoking (62 vs 73%) and heavy alcohol use (12 vs 19%) but a higher rate of previous mediastinal radiation (8.4 vs 1.8%) (P < 0.001). Postoperative mortality and overall survival (OS) were similar between sexes. However, subanalysis of patients with locoregional disease (clinical stage II/III) demonstrated that females received neoadjuvant therapy less frequently than males and had worse OS (median OS 2.56 yrs vs 2.08; P = 0.034). This difference remained significant on adjusted analysis (HR 1.24, 95% CI 1.06-1.46). Conclusions: Female patients had higher incidence of squamous cell carcinoma despite lower prevalence of behavioral risk factors. Among patients with locoregional disease, undertreatment in females may reflect treatment bias and history of previous mediastinal radiation. Esophageal cancer in females should be considered a unique entity as compared with the presentation and treatment of males.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)113-117
Number of pages5
JournalAnnals of Surgery
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1 Jul 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • esophageal cancer
  • esophagectomy
  • sex


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