Being married may help cancer survival
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.”

soundoff (783 Responses)
  1. tadalafil max dose

    tadalis-ajanta https://tadalisxs.com/ elevex tadalafil 20mg

    February 10, 2021 at 02:03 | Report abuse | Reply
  2. hydrodiuril

    hydroxyclorquin https://hydroxychloroquinex.com/ hydroxycloriquin

    February 10, 2021 at 02:21 | Report abuse | Reply
  3. where to buy aralen

    choloriquine https://chloroquineorigin.com/ clorquine

    February 10, 2021 at 02:44 | Report abuse | Reply
  4. buy online zithromax

    zithromax for flu https://zithromaxes.com/ zithromax strength

    February 10, 2021 at 04:01 | Report abuse | Reply
  5. malatya escort

    malatya escort bayanlarla tanışmak için bu siteyi ziyaret edebilirsiniz.


    February 16, 2021 at 15:57 | Report abuse | Reply
  6. 1500 USA-Visitors-Daily

    I will drive 20000 google organic visitors using targeted keywords: https://www.seoclerk.com/Traffic/833336/I-will-drive-20000-google-organic-visitors-using-targeted-keywords


    February 16, 2021 at 19:38 | Report abuse | Reply
  7. libido enhancement in men

    Hey there! I know this is kinda off topic but I was wondering which blog platform are
    you using for this site? I'm getting sick and tired of
    Wordpress because I've had problems with hackers and I'm looking at
    alternatives for another platform. I would be fantastic if you
    could point me libido enhancement in men the direction of a good platform.

    February 20, 2021 at 02:38 | Report abuse | Reply
  8. vreyrolinomit

    I have recently started a blog, the information you provide on this site has helped me tremendously. Thank you for all of your time & work.


    February 26, 2021 at 12:47 | Report abuse | Reply
  9. ClarkTauts

    osygb so3oq pygq

    March 1, 2021 at 16:12 | Report abuse | Reply
  10. ClarkTauts

    c1eq6 4uh8t 36r3

    March 1, 2021 at 19:09 | Report abuse | Reply
  11. Versie Goffney

    Hmm is anyone else experiencing problems with the pictures on this blog loading? I'm trying to find out if its a problem on my end or if it's the blog. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.


    March 2, 2021 at 04:45 | Report abuse | Reply
  12. Cletus Fulena


    March 4, 2021 at 11:04 | Report abuse | Reply
  13. surprise homes for sale with pool

    998443 261255very great post, i certainly genuinely like this outstanding website, continue it 671534

    March 13, 2021 at 20:34 | Report abuse | Reply
  14. Triad Tree Removal Tree Service West Jefferson

    823357 627050As I website possessor I think the articles here is really wonderful, regards for your efforts. 224551

    March 13, 2021 at 21:03 | Report abuse | Reply
  15. sildenafil citrate online

    sildenafil price 20mg https://eunicesildenafilcitrate.com/ sildenafil tablets from india 100mg tablets

    March 14, 2021 at 09:18 | Report abuse | Reply
  16. avana

    buy avana canada avana drug

    March 14, 2021 at 11:20 | Report abuse | Reply
  17. cyclomune

    buy cyclomune usa buy cyclosporine

    March 14, 2021 at 13:00 | Report abuse | Reply
  18. for erectile health and better blood flow

    compare erectile dysfunction drugs https://erectiledysfunctionpillscvs.com/ erectile stimulation treatment

    March 14, 2021 at 20:43 | Report abuse | Reply
  19. alprostadil urethral suppository

    injectable ed medicine https://alprostadildrugs.com/ alprostadil injection demonstration video

    March 15, 2021 at 18:41 | Report abuse | Reply
  20. buy tadalafil us

    tadalafil dosage https://elitadalafill.com/ generic tadalafil 40 mg

    March 18, 2021 at 09:30 | Report abuse | Reply
  21. side effects for vardenafil

    vardenafil https://vegavardenafil.com/ warnings for vardenafil

    March 19, 2021 at 05:59 | Report abuse | Reply
  22. impotence

    erectile winstrol https://canadaerectiledysfunctionpills.com/ erectile stimulator

    March 19, 2021 at 09:32 | Report abuse | Reply
  23. average perscription pills taken by 65 year old canadian?

    canadian pills online https://canadapillstorex.com/ best canadian mail order pharmacies for diet pills

    March 19, 2021 at 12:35 | Report abuse | Reply
  24. can you buy viagra over the counter in canada?

    canada online viagra https://canadaviagrastore.com/ viagra canada for sale

    March 19, 2021 at 16:48 | Report abuse | Reply
  25. canadian meds cialis

    how safe and reliable are canadian cialis https://canadacialisstore.com/ cialis through canadian pharmacies

    March 20, 2021 at 05:36 | Report abuse | Reply
  26. what is tadalafil

    buy tadalafil https://elitadalafill.com/ tadalafil 40 mg from india

    March 20, 2021 at 08:50 | Report abuse | Reply
  27. erectile therapy jordan

    discount erectile medication https://erectiledysfunctionpillscvs.com/ erectile reverser

    March 20, 2021 at 13:45 | Report abuse | Reply
  28. free casino games slot machines

    casino no deposit code https://casinoxsplay.com/ free casino slots

    March 20, 2021 at 22:31 | Report abuse | Reply
  29. trump casino vegas no gambling

    play free vegas casino games https://casinoxsbest.com/ 459 free casino slots

    March 21, 2021 at 15:15 | Report abuse | Reply
  30. resorts world casino games

    1 million chips double down casino codes https://casinoxsbonus.com/ blue chip casino brewfest 2018

    March 21, 2021 at 15:57 | Report abuse | Reply
  31. casino card game

    usa casino bonus codes https://casinoxsplay.com/ dragon spin slot machine location at foxwoods casino

    March 21, 2021 at 16:45 | Report abuse | Reply
  32. real casino free slots

    doubledow casino games https://casinoxsonline.com/ vegas slots casino free

    March 21, 2021 at 18:49 | Report abuse | Reply
  33. casino party games

    casino game lifting https://casinoxsgames.com/ florida casino online real money

    March 21, 2021 at 19:04 | Report abuse | Reply
  34. erotic massage london

    Really enjoyed this article.Much thanks again. Really Cool.


    March 22, 2021 at 08:57 | Report abuse | Reply
  35. ruby red casino no deposit bonus codes

    all slots casino https://casinoxsbonus.com/ florida gambling casino

    March 23, 2021 at 14:44 | Report abuse | Reply
  36. no deposit bonus for slots of vegas casino

    when is the best time to win at a casino https://casinoxsonline.com/ fone casino play

    March 24, 2021 at 06:31 | Report abuse | Reply
  37. planet 7 casino mobile play

    free casino slot machines with bonus rounds https://casinoxsbest.com/ what casino has daily blackjack tournaments and accept americans

    March 24, 2021 at 15:27 | Report abuse | Reply
  38. potawatomi bingo casino milwaukee wisconsin

    which celebrity is banned from playing blackjack at the hard rock hotel & casino? https://casinoxsgames.com/ free casino game

    March 27, 2021 at 09:35 | Report abuse | Reply
  39. health insurance

    186041 107602You must be a part of a contest 1st of the most effective blogs online. Let me suggest this blog! 608443

    March 27, 2021 at 19:33 | Report abuse | Reply
  40. Billygem

    zithromax buy online no prescription: where to get zithromax over the counter zithromax order online uk
    http://zithromaxproff.com/# zithromax 500 mg for sale

    March 30, 2021 at 08:51 | Report abuse | Reply
  41. jackpot party casino

    casino game played with 32 dominos https://casinoxsbest.com/ doubleu casino free chips codes

    April 2, 2021 at 10:17 | Report abuse | Reply
  42. blue chip casino

    red stag casino free no deposit bonus https://casinoxsbonus.com/ double down casino bingo us

    April 2, 2021 at 10:49 | Report abuse | Reply
  43. casino albuquerque new mexico entertainment

    slots jackpot casino https://casinoxsplay.com/ 5 million chips doubledown casino

    April 2, 2021 at 11:16 | Report abuse | Reply
  44. "everest casino" "poker" giocci

    oneida casino stay and play package https://casinoxsonline.com/ free casino bonuses no deposit

    April 2, 2021 at 12:50 | Report abuse | Reply
  45. casino arizona bingo

    casino signup bonus vegas https://casinoxsgames.com/ casino new mexico map

    April 2, 2021 at 13:04 | Report abuse | Reply
  46. how make necklaces

    87578 128973I appreciate you taking the time to speak about them with individuals. 114970

    April 11, 2021 at 08:47 | Report abuse | Reply
  47. Sharilyn Neja

    Hi there! I just wanted to ask if you ever have any issues with hackers? My last blog (wordpress) was hacked and I ended up losing months of hard work due to no back up. Do you have any methods to stop hackers?


    April 15, 2021 at 10:16 | Report abuse | Reply
  48. RV Upholstery Orange County

    The next time I read a blog, Hopefully it doesn't fail me just as much as this one. I mean, Yes, it was my choice to read through, but I actually believed you'd have something interesting to say. All I hear is a bunch of crying about something you could fix if you were not too busy searching for attention.


    April 24, 2021 at 09:13 | Report abuse | Reply
  49. houses for sale wallace idaho

    I must thank you for the efforts you have put in writing this blog. I'm hoping to view the same high-grade content by you later on as well. In truth, your creative writing abilities has encouraged me to get my own blog now 😉


    April 24, 2021 at 09:13 | Report abuse | Reply
  50. Forklift Maintenance Shop Orange County

    This is a topic that is close to my heart... Take care! Exactly where are your contact details though?


    April 24, 2021 at 12:47 | Report abuse | Reply
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16

Leave a Reply to esurance rv insurance


CNN welcomes a lively and courteous discussion as long as you follow the Rules of Conduct set forth in our Terms of Service. Comments are not pre-screened before they post. You agree that anything you post may be used, along with your name and profile picture, in accordance with our Privacy Policy and the license you have granted pursuant to our Terms of Service.

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.