According to a study published by The Lancet Oncology, more boys are being diagnosed in India with cancer than girls.

Researchers gathered individual data from children between 0 and 19 years old with cancer, using hospital records of three Indian cancer centres. This was done between January 1, 2005 and December 31, 2019.

The data were also taken from two population-based Cancer registries, PBCRs of Delhi January 1st 2005 to December 31st 2014, and Madras Metropolitan Tumour Registry January 1st 2005 to December 31 2017.
Researchers from All India Institute of Medical Sciences in New Delhi and Cancer Institute Chennai calculated male to female sex ratios from three hospitals within the context of the corresponding PBCRs.

Researchers found that Delhi’s male-to-female ratios have improved over the past 15 years.

Bakhshi stated that the study clearly showed that boys are more likely to be diagnosed with cancer than girls. This could be due to gender bias in society.

“Symptomatic girls may not be brought forward to evaluation and diagnosis. This could lead to fewer cases of cancer in girls.” This bias is affected by the nature of society’s mind set, as we can see that societies with more patriarchal mindsets (like North India) have a higher bias.” he said.

The cost of treatment can also affect the sex ratios. Researchers found that girls are less likely to seek treatment for cancer if they have to pay more, such as when they go to private hospitals or live far away from the Centre.

This means that gender bias is a result of multiple socio-economic factors.

This allowed them to determine how many boys were seeking treatment for each treatment.

The team also analysed the gender ratios of stem cell transplant patients, which is a relatively expensive procedure in cancer care.

“We found that there was a significant skew towards boys in cancer diagnosis among the nearly 11,000 patients who were registered in the PBCRs,” said Professor Sameer Bakhshi from Department of Medical Oncology. We also observed that among the 22,000 children diagnosed with cancer who were enrolled in three hospitals, more boys sought treatment than girls,” said Professor Sameer Bakhshi from the Department of Medical Oncology at AIIMS New Delhi.


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