Scientists say they may have found the key to surviving cancer: marriage.
Married people with cancer were 20% less likely to die from their disease, compared to people who are separated, divorced, widowed or never married, according to study published online Monday in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.
Married people in the study fared better than singles no matter what type of cancer. In certain types of tumors ”” prostate, breast, colorectal, esophageal and head/neck cancers ”” the survival benefits of marriage were larger than those from chemotherapy.
“Improving social support for our patients may be equally important as providing effective therapy, and it is less costly to develop and implement,” said senior author Paul Nguyen, a radiation oncologist at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, in a statement.