Marriage the new miracle cure for cancer: Study
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London: Being married helps patients
with lung cancer live significantly longer than if they were single,
according to a new research.
Similar benefit has been seen in other cancers, including those of the
prostate, and head and neck, the independent reported.
A study of 168 patients with advanced lung cancer who were treated with
chemotherapy and radiation over a decade from 2000 to 2010 found a third of
those who were married were still alive after three years compared with 10
per cent of those who were single.
Previous research has shown marriage benefits men more than women, but among
these survivors it was women who fared best. Almost half (46 per cent) lived
for at least three years if they were married, compared with just 3 per cent
of single men.
Cancer patients need support with daily activities, with proper follow up
care and help travelling to and from hospital for appointments.
The researchers from the University of Maryland said this was the likely
explanation of why married patients did better.
“Marital status appears to be an important independent predictor of survival
in patients with locally advanced non-small cell lung cancer. The reason for
this is unclear, but our findings suggest the importance of social support
in managing and treating our lung cancer patients,” the paper quoted
Elizabeth Nichols, a radiation oncology who led the study, as saying.
“We believe that better supportive care and support mechanisms for cancer
patients can have a greater impact on increasing survival than many new
cancer therapy techniques.
“Not only do we need to continue to focus on finding new drugs and cancer
therapies, but also on ways to better support our cancer patients,” she
The researchers presented their findings at the 2012 Symposium on Thoracic
Oncology in Chicago.