Marriage has legal and emotional benefits, but does it also have health benefits? A new research study answers that question with a resounding yes. This new study, published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, found that being married may significantly improve the likelihood of surviving cancer. “Being married may help cancer survival,” posted by John Bonifield, September 23, 2013, cnn.com.
The study found a 20% reduction in deaths among patients who were married as compared to those who were unmarried. According to the article, this is a bigger benefit than several kinds of chemotherapy used to treat cancer. This statistic is attributable to the fact that, according to the study, “patients who were married were more likely to detect their disease early, receive potentially curable treatments and live longer.” Spouses may stay on top of their partner’s health and encourage them to go for screenings, follow up appointments, etc. and can also offer support (physical and emotional) during difficult treatments. An unmarried person may not have these same live-in protective benefits.
One of the study’s author’s believes that these protective benefits do not have to come from a spouse. An unmarried person may enjoy these same health benefits by confiding in a friend or loved one about a potential health problem. Further, any unmarried person can lean on a friend or loved one during diagnosis and treatment to help them get through the difficult time, both physically and emotionally. The important thing is that you have someone to depend on – whether it is a spouse with whom you live, or a friend on which you can rely.