May 3, 2016 – Married With Cancer
Anchor lead: Married people with cancer do better than those who are not, Elizabeth Tracey reports
Those who are married and develop cancer survive longer than those who are unmarried, a recent study found. And while there’s been a lot of data on the so-called ‘marriage benefit’ in lots of studies, this one doesn’t really give any insight into why. William Nelson, director of the Kimmel Cancer Center at Johns Hopkins, muses on the possibilities.
Nelson: One is socioeconomic status. If you’re better off, cancer provides significant financial and social challenges, and so one question of course is is this a question of financial security, in other words are you better off if you’re married, and that’s the reason for the survival. In this study it seemed to cross the socioeconomic states, having said that the folks who did the study were left with the social support notion that there may just be more social support. :26
Nelson says everyone withstands treatment better with emotional support, and that friends and family are often glad to be present for a loved one’s treatment. At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.