A study from researchers at Penn State’s College of Medicine and Brigham Young University found that married patients with colon cancer had a 14-percent lower risk of death.
According to a post on Jezebel, the study analyzed 127,753 patient records and found "’married people were diagnosed at earlier stages of colon cancer and sought more aggressive treatment.’"
But to all you single guys and gals: Don’t run out and get hitched just for the health benefits. The study found spouses served as an "important informal caregiver," with that extra support possibly translating into "better disease management and, hence, better outcomes."
The post on Jezebel pointed out that if a strong support system is one of the main reasons for increased odds of surviving a disease such as colon cancer, perhaps all couples with a strong relationship’legally married or not’would see the same results. I definitely agree with that thought. But are the benefits really limited to just couples?
My mother was treated for breast cancer and while my dad was there for her, she also received a lot of strong support from her female friends‘ many of whom had had their own experiences with breast cancer. Her friends offered a unique bond and perspective and while my dad could be supportive, he really couldn’t understand what she was going through the same way these women could. In turn, when one of my mother’s girlfriends was undergoing treatment for the same disease, my mom took her to appointments, cooked some meals and helped with the housework. So how different is the support we receive from friends versus someone we’re romantically involved with?
What kind of support do you and your partner offer each other to benefit your health?