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Study: Marriage increases cancer survival rates


Marriage offers protection. Photo: angelo23/Flickr/Creative Commons

Marriage offers protection. Photo: angelo23/Flickr/Creative Commons

A new study published by Fremont’s Cancer Prevention Institute of California and the University of California San Diego School of Medicine may have unlocked why married people have a better chance of surviving cancer.

Over the years, several studies have shown that married people have higher survival rates than their non married counter parts when it comes to dealing with this disease.

In this particular study, researchers looked at 783,167 patients and determined that unmarried men were 27% more likely to die from cancer than their married counterparts and unmarried women 19% more likely.

The group then decided to remove other socio-economic factors such as finances that could potentially affect a person’s ability to survive cancer. In America, it can impact the type of health insurance a person can buy.

Once these factors were removed, they discovered that an unmarried man’s chances of dying from cancer was still 22% higher than his married counterpart and for unmarried women it was still 15% higher.

The researchers concluded that though other socio-economic factors contributed to a person’s ability to battle cancer, marriage offered by far the biggest advantage in surviving this deadly affliction.

In their report published in the American Cancer Society’s journal Cancer, they attributed this difference to the “personal and emotional support of the marital union.”

Because of the large number of people involved in their study, the researchers were convinced the social support offered by marriage is a “key driver” in surviving cancer.

Another study by the University of Maryland Medical Center in 2012 revealed a similar benefit of marriage. They tracked the survival rates of people who had received chemotherapy for advanced lung cancer.

Based on their analysis of patients over a ten-year period, they found after three years 33% of married people were still alive compared to 10% for single patients. Married women had the highest survival rate with 46% still alive and single men the lowest at 3%.

Perhaps God described marriage best, when He said at creation:

18 And the Lord God said, It is not good that the man should be alone;  (Genesis 2:18a King James)

Sources:

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