Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Couples Survive Cancer More than Singles

I thought this article was worth posting in its entirety (please forgive formatting issues).



Why being married could stop you dying of cancer: Sufferers have 'something to live for' if they have a spouse 

  • Analysis of 60,000 patients showed singletons were more likely to die
  • Patients' other halves are more likely to 'hassle' them to see a doctor
  • For one blood cancer the unmarried had a 43 per cent higher death rate
Being married increases your chances of beating cancer, experts have revealed.
An analysis of 60,000 patients over ten years found single or unmarried patients with the disease were a fifth more likely to die.
Researchers say having a spouse or family gives sufferers ‘something to live for’ and makes them far more determined to beat the illness.
Patients’ other halves – particularly wives – are more likely to ‘hassle’ them to see a doctor about any worrying symptoms or remind them to go to chemotherapy appointments.
Being married increases the risk of beating cancer. Researchers said having a spouse or family gives sufferers ‘something to live for’ and makes them far more determined to beat the illness
Researchers from the University of California in San Diego presented their findings at the American Society for Clinical Oncology conference this week. They looked at the records of 60,000 men and women with leukaemia and other types of blood cancer between 2000 and 2009.
On average, patients who were not married were 21 per cent more likely to die than their married counterparts.
But among those with follicular lymphoma – a rare blood cancer – the unmarried had a 43 per cent higher chance of dying. And the figure was 37 per cent for Hodgkin lymphoma sufferers.
‘If you are single you don’t have someone at home nagging at you to get checked out.
‘This is particularly true with men. Women tend to have more support even if they are single.’
He added: ‘Married people and people with families are more likely to stick to treatment. They have a support system making them go to chemo, reminding them to take their medication.
‘They are also more motivated to seek out healthcare. To put it bluntly, they have something to live for. These results show that health services need to take more care of single patients – they need to be the surrogate for a spouse.

MARRIED PEOPLE ARE ALSO MORE LIKELY TO SURVIVE A HEART ATTACK 

Married people are more likely to survive a heart attack, according to British research.
Having a spouse to care for them ‘in sickness and in health’ improves patients’ survival chances by 14 per cent, experts found.
They were also, on average, likely to spend two fewer days in hospital after an attack.
Scientists studied more than 25,000 people with a heart attack diagnosis over a 13-year period, drawn from a database of more than one million hospital patients.
Married people are more likely to survive a heart attack, a study has found. Having a spouse to care for them ‘in sickness and in health’ improves patients’ survival chances by 14 per cent
The researchers, from Aston Medical School and the University of East Anglia, suggested marital partners may offer the kind of physical and emotional support that bolsters patients’ determination to live. Presenting results at the British Cardiovascular Society conference in Manchester yesterday, the UEA’s Dr Nicholas Gollop said: ‘Our results should not be a cause for concern for single people who have had a heart attack.
‘But they should certainly be a reminder to the medical community of the importance of considering the support a heart attack survivor will get once they are discharged.’
There could be financial implications for the NHS as the average cost per day for patients on a surgical ward is £400. Reducing length of stays could save £10 million.
A recent British Heart Foundation study found one in three heart attack survivors has suffered anxiety or depression. Dr Mike Knapton, BHF associate medical director, said: ‘A heart attack can have both devastating physical and psychological effects … These findings suggest the support offered by a spouse can have a beneficial effect on heart attack survivors, perhaps helping to minimise the impact of a heart attack.
‘But when you have your heart attack, whether you’re married or not, it’s important to remember that you are not alone … a cardiac rehabilitation course, for example, will help you to recover physically, psychologically, and also help you to meet people who know what you’ve been through.’
About 188,000 people a year are admitted to UK hospitals as a result of a heart attack. 
‘Single people often don’t look after themselves.’
The university’s Professor Maria Elena Martinez, who was also involved in the study, said: ‘Being single should be a red flag for doctors. If a cancer patient comes in without a family member or spouse it should be a warning sign.
‘Medical staff need to ask the patient about the support at home. Doctors need to go that little bit extra with single patients.’

Patients’ other halves – particularly wives – are more likely to ‘hassle’ them to see a doctor, researchers said
Previous research has shown that married couples are more likely to survive heart attacks, overcome high-risk surgery and also tend to live longer.
Adrienne Betteley, interim head of health and social care at the charity Macmillan Cancer Support, said: ‘We know that a cancer diagnosis can leave people feeling very lonely and that this can have a detrimental effect on their lives, with many forced to skip meals or attend vital appointments alone. At worst it can result in patients refusing treatment altogether.’
Cancer Research UK’s senior clinical adviser, Professor Arnie Purushotham, said it is ‘unclear why married people in this study seem to have better outcomes’.
But he added: ‘It may be that cancer patients who have close support of partners do better and this may be due to sticking with their treatment better and a network of social support. Developing such a network of support may benefit all cancer patients.’ 

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