Marriage Linked To Improved Odds Of Surviving Colon Cancer

Illustration for article titled Marriage Linked To Improved Odds Of Surviving Colon Cancer

Now here's something interesting:

Married patients had a 14 percent lower risk of death according to researchers at Penn State's College of Medicine and Brigham Young University. That estimate is based on analysis of 127,753 patient records.

Similar to studies of other types of cancers, the researchers did find that married people were diagnosed at earlier stages of colon cancer and sought more aggressive treatment. The researchers took those and other factors into account before calculating the benefit of marriage on survival odds.

"Controlling for the stage that the cancer was detected is key," said Sven Wilson, a study coauthor and professor at Brigham Young University. "Without that, it's hard to know whether the analysis is just picking up a diagnosis effect."

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According to the study, the benefits of marriage —in relation to colon cancer risks, anyway— were "nearly identical" for men and women.

Why would that be, you ask?

Spouses serve as an important informal caregiver during a critical time, and that extra support may translate into better disease management and, hence, better outcomes.

If this is correct, it's actually very good news for all types of single folk since, last time I checked, having a support system in place through good times and bad doesn't require a legal document.

Marriage Improves Odds of Surviving Colon Cancer [ScienceDaily]

DISCUSSION

These studies are ridiculous. I have mentioned before that my husband is a colon cancer survivor, but he was stage III-C when diagnosed, so he has a substantial risk of recurrance. Yes, I nag him to take aspirin and excercise, but I'm sure I would do that whether we were married or not.

You know what would actually improve odds of surviving colon cancer? Doctors who took symptoms seriously. Doctors who don't drop the ball when a patient who has struggled with ulcerative colitis since age 12 complains of new and different symptoms. A doctor who, after finally relenting to a colonoscopy not on my husband's normally scheduled one, doesn't tell a six-month pregnant me that your husband will die today if we don't remove his colon and look at me like it was my fault. A doctor who doesn't come in and tell us he has cancer and then just disappears after that. Doctors who take seriously the complaints of people under 50.

Sorry about the rant, but two years later, I am still very, very angry.