Fight This Disease With…Marriage?

senior-couple-at-libraryIllness is never an easy thing to contend with, but support from loved ones can lighten the burden—and maybe even more than that.

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Patients with cancer who were married at the time of diagnosis live markedly longer compared with unmarried patients, U.S. researchers say. In fact for some cancers, being married might be a more potent factor for cancer survival than chemotherapy, the study found.

Married people get diagnosed earlier with cancer, are more likely to get the appropriate treatment, and are less likely to die from the disease than nonmarried people, finds a new Dana-Farber Cancer Institute study. The researchers used a national database to survey nearly 735,000 patients diagnosed with one of 10 different types of cancer and found that those who were married were 20 percent less likely to die of their cancers compared with those who weren’t married.