When I mentioned my bout with breast cancer to a new acquaintance, his first question was, “Are you married?”
It was an unusual reaction — a more common query is whether I have kids. Later he told me that his daughter-in-law had been diagnosed with breast cancer while still in graduate school and that she and his son had moved in with him. He understood better than most people that being married makes it easier to cope with cancer.
The very next day the Journal of Clinical Oncology released a study offering more than anecdotal evidence that marriage is good for cancer patients.
Controlling for demographic factors such as age, race, education and household income, researchers who analyzed records of more than 730,000 cancer patients found that married patients did significantly better than single people. They lived longer, received better treatment and were more likely to be diagnosed before metastatic cancers developed.