Cancer patients who are diagnosed with the disease when they are married are more likely to live longer than unmarried patients, a study suggests.
Married couples can provide stronger support for each other
A research of more than 730,000 people diagnosed with cancer found evidence to suggest that patients who were unmarried or widowed were 17% more likely to suffer from metastatic cancer than married patients. Metastatic cancer is a cancer that has spread beyond the original location of the initial cancer.
The study was led by Ayal Aizer from the Harvard Radiation Oncology Program and published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.
The research focused on the ten most fatal cancers in the US including lung, colorectal, breast, pancreatic, prostate, liver, lymphoma, ovarian, oesophageal and head.
The data also factored in other variables that may have influenced the course of each patient’s cancer and accounted for age, sex, race, education, income and where they lived.
The findings also found that unmarried patients were 53% less likely to receive appropriate therapy due to late diagnosis.
There are more than 325,000 people diagnosed with cancer in the UK every year, according to Cancer Research UK.
Ayal Azier said: "Our data suggests that marriage can have a significant health impact for patients with cancer, and this was consistent among every cancer that we reviewed.
“We suspect that social support from spouses is what's driving the striking improvement in survival. Spouses often accompany patients on their visits and make sure they understand the recommendations and complete all their treatments."
Some health insurance policies can include comprehensive cancer cover which can provide private healthcare for cancer treatment.
© ActiveQuote Ltd. 2013