Surprise! Being married improves prostate cancer survival
Posted on June 27, 2011 by Sitemaster
It has been known for years that marital status impacts the likelihood of stage at diagnosis and survival in a number of different types of cancer (prostate cancer included). However, a new study has now confirmed this is a large, US, population-based analysis of prostate cancer patients.
Abdollah et al. used data from 17 Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results registries to identify 163,697 patients initially diagnosed with non-metastatic prostate cancer and treated with first-line radical prostatectomy.
Their findings showed that:
•9.1 percent of the patients were separated, divorced, or widowed at the time of diagnosis.
•7.8 percent of the patients were single and had never married.
•Compared to men who were married at the time of diagnosis, separated, divorced, or widowed men had
◦A more advanced stage at surgery (odds ratio [OR] = 1.1; p < 0.001)
◦A higher prostate cancer-specific mortality rate (hazard ratio [HR] = 1.3, p < 0.001)
◦A higher all-cause mortality rate (HR = 1.3; p < 0.001)
•Also compared to men who were married at the time of diagnosis, never-married men had
◦A higher all-cause mortality rate (HR = 1.2, p = 0.001).
•The study findings were consistent when analyses were stratified according to organ-confined vs. locally advanced (pT3-4/pN1) stage of disease.
The authors suggest that, in light of these findings, separated, divorced, and widowed men “may benefit from a more focused health care throughout the natural history of their disease.”
Of course the other very reasonable conclusion from this finding is that men need to learn how to better look after their own health care starting at a very early age!