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Reaction to Cancer Linked to Gender
Men and women diagnosed with cancer look for information on the disease in different ways. A new study suggests that men seek practical advice and the latest medical treatments, while women look for emotional support. Clive Seale, a sociology professor, conducted this study which highlights that cancer reaction is linked to gender. The study looked at 1,053 web postings by cancer patients analyzed and at questions asked to 45 women and 52 men. In the first phase, the men questioned had prostate cancer and the women had breast cancer. Then two popular forums for cancer patients were studied, analyzing posts and keywords. Seale, of Brunel University, found that men's primary concerns were treatments, tests, symptoms, procedures and side-effects of drugs, while women sought social and emotional support, wanted to share personal experiences and talk about the impact of cancer on relationships and family."One could imagine that each gender could benefit from what the other gender is interested in", said Seale, adding that men could be missing out on help to deal with their feelings and relationships. "We know that not all cancers are the same and that individuals will handle their cancer in different ways, but it is fascinating that Professor Seale's research clearly shows, in general, a gender split in the preferred style of communication. It's obviously important that people affected by cancer are able to participate in forums and chat rooms in a way that suits their individual styles and needs over time," asserted Dr. Chris Hiley, at The Prostate Cancer Charity.

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