Married patients have better chance of surviving cancer

It doesn’t matter how many years pass. If you’re like me, your wedding day feels like it was just yesterday.

You’ll never forget the exact moment you stood up in front of your friends and family and promised to support your spouse “through sickness and in health, until death do you part.”

And it turns out you and your spouse may be doing more than you realize to help each other through sickness – especially if one of you has cancer.

In a newly published study, researchers from the Cancer Prevention Institute found that being married actually makes you much more likely to beat cancer.

Male cancer patients who weren’t married were actually 22 per cent more likely to die during the study – unmarried women were 15 per cent more likely.

And we’re talking about every type of cancer. From colon to stomach cancer, your spouse gives you a distinct advantage over the swinging singles with the same condition.

So what do you do if you have cancer and aren’t married? Well, I’m not suggesting you start combing through the mail-order bride catalogues.

I’m not sure that a marriage certificate is necessarily the most important part of the equation here.

I see in my own practice all the time how helpful it is to have a partner who can help you stick with your treatments or get you to your appointments. And when you’re going through something like cancer, it’s important to have a support network and to not isolate yourself.

And I think that’s the real lesson: Staying active, maintaining relationships, and keeping a network of people who care about you is important to both preventing and beating illness.

If you’re lucky enough to have a spouse who provides all that for you, count yourself blessed.

If not, start reaching out to family or friends, or look for opportunities to socialize and meet more people. Maybe even check out your local senior center and see what classes or activities they’re offering.

Find ways to enjoy life with others, and you’ll have more of it to live.

Wishing you the best of health,

Dr. Glenn S. Rothfeld
Editor
Nutrition & Healing
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Sources:

Marriage Improves Changes of Cancer Survival, According to Study, yahoo.com/

Social Support of Marriage May Improve Cancer Survival, well.blogs.nytimes.com

Effects of marital status and economic resources on survival after cancer: A population-based study, onlinelibrary.wiley.com

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