Being married is a factor in a cancer patient's survival rate a new study has found.
The University of California San Diego (UCS) report, published Monday in the journal Cancer, shows that the chances of surviving cancer when married are higher than if single. But the study's authors also stressed that sex, race, ethnicity and birthplace have a key role in determining a patient's survival.
In the study of 800,000 cancer patients, white bachelors and white single women are the least likely to survive – single non-Hispanic white males experienced the worst outcome with a 24 percent higher mortality rate than their married counterparts.
Unmarried women also had a higher mortality rate than married women, but the difference was less significant than among men. Single non-Hispanic white females had a 17 percent increase in mortality compared to those who were married.
"Women seek out help for health concerns more frequently than men, and women tend to remind spouses to see their physicians and live a healthy lifestyle," said Dr. Maria Elena Martinez, lead author of the study and professor of Family Medicine and Public Health at UCS' School of Medicine.