September 24, 2013

"Married cancer patients live longer than single people who have the disease..."

"The study, published in The Journal of Clinical Oncology, found that single patients were 53 percent less likely to receive appropriate therapy than married patients."
The finding suggests that maintaining grueling chemotherapy and radiation schedules and taking medication as prescribed is easier for people who have help from a spouse compared with single people who must manage the logistics of cancer treatment on their own....

Notably, men with cancer showed a greater benefit from marriage than did women. That doesn’t mean husbands are not supportive of wives....

20 comments:

Edward Lunny said...

Is it the married/unmarried thing, or is it cohabitating and living alone ? These kinds of studies specifically, usually, mention marriage ,but ,I wonder if a long term ,stable living arrangement sans marriage would show the same results. Having a partner, in life, business, or in enjoyment eases the work load and, frequently, enhances the experience.

Irene said...

Don't healthy people in long-term relationships live longer, too?

MadisonMan said...

It is extremely difficult to both fight cancer and navigate the Health Care Bureaucracy. You can do one well, or the other. So this finding is unsurprising. The exhaustion of fighting cancer, or just the physical toll, the aches and pains and constipation and shortness of breath and muscle fatigue, leaves you incapable of getting to appointments, or researching alternatives treatments, or looking for side-effects (to anticipate and get ahead of their effects).

Every cancer patient needs an advocate to fight battles. I am so sure Obama Care will provide it.

Lem said...

I am not in isolation because I have cancer.

Because...

I have a tumor the size of a grapefruit.

No...

I am in isolation...

because I am being treated for cancer.

My treatment imperils my health.

Herein lies the paradox.


Wit - the Emma Thompson HBO movie about cancer.

traditionalguy said...

Another reason men need an IOW. Don't leave home without one.
The times lawyers see a longtime older couple die one first and then the other a month later of unrelated causes is scary.

Maybe there is no eternal soul, but there is a definitely a soul tie in many married couples that causes the survivor to hurry up.

Lem said...

A sign of a healthy marriage is when one conjugate gives the other cancer.

Tyrone Slothrop said...

When I had cancer, I had a wife and three young kids who relied on me. I was quite loath to shuffle off this mortal coil for their sake, as well as my own.

The Godfather said...

My father died of cancer in his mid-60's, and his wife (my stepmother) moved heaven and earth to get him the best possible treatment. The doctors said it was all hopeless, and maybe her efforts didn't extend his life; we'll never know. I do know that she made his final months of life less awful than they would have been.

Aside from practicalities, it must be terrible to have to go through a life-threatening or terminal illness alone.

Jack Henry said...

Married men are more likely to have some one helping them. Providing services while they are confined to hospital.

It means a lot.

Lem said...

Anything in there about married filibustering senators?

cassandra lite said...

So when Obamacare kicks in completely, is marriage going to be mandated for cancer patients? Or will you be prohibited from getting it unless you're already married?

Levi Starks said...

Heres an idea, maybe the same emotional makeup that makes them unattached with people also makes them less attached to life. Maybe they don't perceive death as the worst possible outcome.

David said...

Having been married to a cancer patient who died, and later becoming a cancer patient myself after remarrying, I can tell you that having or being a loving spouse during the course of the disease is an enormous comfort. Probably has an effect on longer life but the comfort is the main thing.

LTMG said...

I was a foreigner living in Shanghai and had to get chemotherapy. It was extremely difficult to find a hospital that would agree to treat me. My wife, originally from Shanghai, worked wonders to make it happen. Later, in the US, when I had to undergo even more complicated treatment, without the support and encouragement of my wife, I might well be pushing up daisies.

madAsHell said...

How many had children?

Bob Ellison said...

Married people live longer, defeat disease more successfully, and fly to other planets more often than single people. They also grow more tomatoes in their gardens than singles, and they dress better.

Peter said...

There's plenty of evidence that marrieds are (in the aggregate) healthier, wealthier and happier than singles. In theory cohabitation might be just as good, but in practice it has much lower average duration and lower perceived commitment.

Nonetheless, part of the difficulty in these studies is unavoidable selection bias. That is, those who marry may be a different populaton than those who don't- for example, they might be healthier, at least at the time of marriage. One can' do a double-blind, randomized study on the effects of marriage.

What's notable about this study how large the effect appears to be.

Larry J said...

A former coworker who survived two rounds of cancer told me about "chemo brain." According to him, chemo seriously messes up your brain and impacts your memory. Having to fight cancer alone while suffering from chemo brain would be very difficult. You need someone able to think clearly to help you manage your treatments and to advocate on your behalf. A single person without a good support system in those circumstances is going to have a very hard time of it. If they don't do this already, it seems like a good idea for someone to be designated as an advocate for single people in those circumstances.

SOJO said...

@madisonman This is the main argument that I can see for universal healthcare. My bil had to have emergency bypass in Canada. The hospital bill was 50k and the paperwork 10 lines long. That was it and he is not even n Canadian.

Meanwhile I am ostensibly covered, but have to babysit every little red tape thing which depletes healing reserves. I have support but sometimes there is nothing others can do. It's insane...like a full time job.

Also I have met a ton of people in waiting rooms and heard their stories and know how much they have invested in and by necessity planned their treatment options around October 1st ... so naturally Cruz seems like a monster to me now for fucking with their heads this way when they are weak and under stress... for likely no result. Asshole.

MadisonMan said...

I am ostensibly covered, but have to babysit every little red tape thing which depletes healing reserves. I have support but sometimes there is nothing others can do. It's insane...like a full time job.

I'm not sure how anyone can expect a governmental takeover -- Universal Health Care -- to result in less red tape.

Bureaucrats exist to say No. If they said Yes, what would the point of their job be?