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Sorry, Single Ladies. I Guess Marriage Cures Cancer

cancer treatment, cancer survival

These very hands may hold a life-saving cancer treatment: marriage.

A couple of recent studies have found some right-wing talking points for pushing people into marriage: it cures cancer.

Well, not exactly cure, but marriage appears to work in favor of surviving a cancer diagnosis.

Researchers from the University of Maryland found that marrieds with lung cancer have a survival rate that is significantly higher than lung cancer victims who are single. Of course, marriage is no guarantee. Of the 168 patients they looked at, one-third of the patients who were married survived. Only one-tenth of the single patients did.

But lifelong vows don’t get all the credit, according to the researchers, who presented their findings recently at the 2012 Symposium on Thoracic Oncology recently in Chicago. According to the U.K. Independent, radiation oncologist and leader of the study Elizabeth Nichols said at the heart of the better survival rates is regular support of the patient.

From the Independent:

… [O]ur findings suggest the importance of social support in managing and treating our lung cancer patients. … We believe that better supportive care and support mechanisms for cancer patients can have a greater impact on increasing survival than many new cancer therapy techniques.

The Independent further underscores the married factor by citing a recent Norwegian study that found never-married men were 35 percent more likely to die from cancer than their married friends. Never-married women were 22 percent more likely.

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