These days, when precision medicine and personalized medicine are hot topics, it is taken for granted that different diagnoses and treatments are made according to gender. Until recently, however, differences between men and women have not been a big consideration for medical research and treatment.
The difference between women and men can be divided into “sex” aspects by hormones or genes and “gender” aspects, which are differences born between men and women and formed by social and cultural roles. These two are interrelated and affect the occurrence of diseases, called Sex/Gender-Specific Medicine, which medically studies the difference between women and men.
In fact, it was not until the 1980s and 1990s that doctors became aware that diagnosis and treatment for medical and disease were male-centered, and from then on, they began to pay attention to women’s health. In fact, men and women often have different reactions to the expression or treatment of symptoms in each disease because sex hormones, genetic tendencies, and socio-cultural conditions have various effects on the occurrence of the disease.
However, most medical studies were conducted in combination without any difference between men and women in specific mechanisms of onset or treatment, and as a result, medical school textbooks have only described each disease as average knowledge.
In response, Professor Kim Na-young of Seoul National University Hospital has been conducting joint research with the Gender Innovation Research Center of the Korea Federation of Women’s Science and Technology Organizations to avoid this bias and to study gender differences systematically. She published a book to introduce sex medicine on the mechanism and treatment of digestive diseases. Her book is an introductory document on gender innovation (the process of eliminating gender bias and creating knowledge and technology reflecting gender characteristics), which is emerging important in science and technology research, to enhance medical skills and improve customization and understanding according to men and women.
The book systematically summarizes the concept of gender difference by dealing with ▲ necessity of gender difference in digestive diseases ▲ gender difference medicine in digestive diseases such as esophagus, stomach, pancreas, liver, and colon ▲ gender difference education experience in pediatrics, psychiatry, and pharmacology.
In particular, as gender innovation and gender medicine are in the spotlight around the world, the book not only presented gender differences in digestive diseases but also introduced a number of new and interesting contents such as presenting gender differences in colorectal cancer.
Professor Kim said, “As the content of my book is a concept that can affect precision medicine and customization research, which has recently become a hot topic, it will give fresh stimulation to various medical professionals in the future. I hope that theories and knowledge of gender medicine will continue to expand.”