Using the Surveillance, Epidemiology and End Results (SEER) database, a population-based cancer registry covering 26% of the US population, Sprehn and colleagues were able to compare survival rates with marital status at the time of diagnosis in cancer patients . A total of 3.9 million people were included in the analysis of all-site cancers. Survival was highest among married patients: 63% at 5 years and 57% at 10 years after diagnosis. Those separated from their spouses had the lowest survival (45% and 37%, respectively), followed by those who were widowed (47%, 41%), divorced (52%, 46%) and never married (57%, 52%). The 5-year and 10-year relative survivals of separated patients were 72% and 64% than that of married patients. The relationship persisted when data were analyzed by gender. There were no sub-analyses by the type of malignancy.
Department of Medicine T, Ichilov Hospital, Tel-Aviv, Israel
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