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Gender bias in Indian society is likely to be the reason why there are more boys than girls receiving cancer diagnoses in India, according to a new study.

There was a considerable gender disparity in the approximately 11,000 patients registered in the PBCRs, with boys much more likely to be given a cancer diagnosis. In a similar vein, we observed that more boys than girls sought treatment among the 22,000 children with cancer registered in the three institutions, as per the study published in The Lancet Oncology.

Fewer girls visited hospitals if they were more than 100 kilometres away from their homes, indicating that if treatment costs rose, the bias would probably follow. The male-to-female ratios in Delhi have increased over the past 15 years, according to the researchers.

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In comparison to Southern India, the researchers found that fewer females were seeking treatment in hospitals and clinics in Northern India. Patients from rural regions saw a greater gender gap than those from metropolitan locations. They suggested that this could be related to the diverse socioeconomic structures seen around the nation.

In relation to the ratio in the corresponding PBCRs, the researchers calculated the male to female sex ratio from the three hospitals. They were able to determine how many boys with cancer sought treatment for every girl who did so thanks to this ratio.

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The researchers also examined the male to female ratios of cancer patients receiving stem cell transplants, a somewhat pricey surgery.

The expense of therapy also has an impact on sex ratios. When out-of-pocket costs are higher, such as when receiving care from private hospitals or living far from the treatment centre, the researchers observed that fewer females sought cancer treatment. This suggests that several social and economic factors interact to produce the gender bias that has been seen.

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Joint efforts are required to reduce the cost of treatment for patients, especially for girl children, and to change the mindset of the population in order to overcome the bias, the study notes.

(With PTI inputs)

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Sounak Mukhopadhyay

Sounak Mukhopadhyay, who also goes by the name Sounak Mukherjee, has been producing digital news since 2012. He's worked for the International Business Times, The Inquisitr, and Moneycontrol in the past. He's also contributed to Free Press Journal and TheRichest with feature articles. He covers news for a wide range of subjects including business, finance, economy, politics and social media. Before working with digital news publications, he worked as a freelance content writer.
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