September 23rd, 2013
05:32 PM ET
Being married may help cancer survival
Being married may significantly improve the likelihood of surviving cancer, researchers say.
In a new study of more than 700,000 people with diagnoses of the most deadly cancers in the United States, patients who were married were more likely to detect their disease early, receive potentially curable treatments and live longer. The study was published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.
The researchers observed a 20% reduction in deaths among the patients who were married compared to unmarried patients - a benefit bigger than several kinds of chemotherapy used for treating cancer.
“It is pretty astonishing,” Dr. Paul Nguyen, the study’s senior author, said. “There’s something about the social support that you get within a marriage that leads to better survival.”
While the study found a strong link, researchers did not show that marriage directly causes better survival among cancer patients. The study examined associations between marital status and cancer outcomes.
The protective benefits of marriage may be due, in part, to spouses who stay on top of their partner’s health, especially their recommended cancer screenings, study authors said.
“You’re going to nag your wife to go get her mammograms. You’re going to nag your husband to go get his colonoscopy,” Nguyen said. “If you’re on your own, nobody’s going to nag you.”
In the study, people who were on their own were 17% more likely to have cancer that had spread beyond its original site.
Unmarried patients in the study were also 53% less likely to receive appropriate therapies. Nguyen, who is a radiation oncologist at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston, said spouses can help patients get the treatments they need.
“When I meet somebody by themselves sometimes they can be really overwhelmed by the information,” he said. “All the facts that you need to make your decisions, you don’t even hear those facts when you’re the person. You really need somebody else that’s listening and making those kinds of judgments for you.”
The perks of being married seem to continue as patients undergo their cancer treatments, which can often be painful and difficult to endure, Nguyen said.
“If you’ve got a spouse with you who is kind of helping you at the end of the day, helping you get your other stuff in order and really encouraging you to go to your treatments, I think you’re probably much more likely to complete those treatments and get the benefit of the treatment,” he said. “I’ve definitely taken a lot of patients through treatment where there’s no way they could have made it through without their spouse.”
The results also support findings from a 2005 study showing that older married women with breast cancer had a lower risk of mortality after diagnosis than their unmarried counterparts.
All this might sound like a downer for people who aren’t married, but Nguyen doesn’t see it that way.
“Whatever it is about a marriage that helps people live longer and make it through their cancer, it might very well be that any friend, any loved one can do that for a patient with cancer,” he said.
That may be especially true for men, who seemed to benefit more from marriage in the study than women.
“An unmarried guy might be much more of loner about his healthcare,” Nguyen said.
“Don’t be afraid to bring a buddy. Reach out to people because it could make a big difference.”
About this blog
Get a behind-the-scenes look at the latest stories from CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen and the CNN Medical Unit producers. They'll share news and views on health and medical trends - info that will help you take better care of yourself and the people you love.
best erectile herbs http://canadasildenafile.com#
An outstanding share! I've just forwarded this onto a friend who has been conducting a little research on this. And he actually ordered me breakfast due to the fact that I stumbled upon it for him... lol. So allow me to reword this.... Thanks for the meal!! But yeah, thanks for spending some time to talk about this subject here on your web site.
Aw, this was an exceptionally nice post. Taking a few minutes and actual effort to generate a good articleÖ but what can I sayÖ I hesitate a lot and don't seem to get nearly anything done.
erectile exercises http://sildenafilicp.com#
I absolutely love your website.. Pleasant colors & theme. Did you create this site yourself? Please reply back as Iím wanting to create my own personal website and would like to know where you got this from or just what the theme is named. Thanks!
May I just say what a comfort to uncover someone that genuinely understands what they are discussing over the internet. You definitely realize how to bring an issue to light and make it important. A lot more people really need to look at this and understand this side of your story. I can't believe you're not more popular because you certainly possess the gift.
This web site really has all of the information I wanted about this subject and didnít know who to ask.
erectile help massage http://hydrochloroquinetrx.com#
This is a very good tip especially to those new to the blogosphere. Brief but very accurate informationÖ Thank you for sharing this one. A must read article!
Hello there, I believe your web site might be having internet browser compatibility problems. When I look at your website in Safari, it looks fine but when opening in I.E., it has some overlapping issues. I merely wanted to provide you with a quick heads up! Other than that, fantastic blog!
You are so awesome! I don't believe I've read a single thing like
this before. So wonderful to discover someone with some unique thoughts on this
subject matter. Seriously.. thank you for starting this up.
This web site is one thing that is required on the internet,
someone with a little originality!
After I originally commented I seem to have clicked the -Notify me when new comments are added- checkbox and from now on whenever a comment is added I receive four emails with the exact same comment. Perhaps there is an easy method you can remove me from that service? Appreciate it!
Thank you for your article.Thanks Again. Really Cool.
can erectile dysfunction be revewsw http://loratadine-claritin.com#
Way cool! Some extremely valid points! I appreciate you writing this article and also the rest of the website is extremely good.
I seriously love your site.. Very nice colors & theme. Did you build this website yourself? Please reply back as Iím planning to create my own blog and would like to learn where you got this from or exactly what the theme is named. Appreciate it!
I want to to thank you for this excellent read!! I absolutely loved every bit of it. I have got you saved as a favorite to check out new stuff you postÖ
Great post. I am facing many of these issues as well..
review erectile dysfunction pump http://cialisegld.com#
A fascinating discussion is definitely worth comment. I do think that you should write more about this topic, it may not be a taboo subject but generally people don't talk about such issues. To the next! Best wishes!!
I was very happy to discover this page. I want to to thank you for your time for this particularly fantastic read!! I definitely liked every little bit of it and I have you saved to fav to check out new stuff in your web site.
erectile brokenness http://loratadine-claritin.com#
I must express my love for your kind-heartedness for folks that have the need for help with this issue. Your personal dedication to getting the solution all through has been especially interesting and have usually empowered workers like me to achieve their pursuits. Your entire invaluable guide signifies so much a person like me and extremely more to my office workers. Thank you; from everyone of us.