Marriage Is a Big Advantage for Cancer Patients
Other forms of support just not the same: Virginia Postrel
By Evann Gastaldo, Newser Staff
Posted Sep 30, 2013 1:44 PM CDT
Updated Sep 30, 2013 1:53 PM CDT

(Newser) – A recent study found that being married can boost your chances of surviving cancer—and cancer patients who are married understand exactly why that is, writes Virginia Postrel on Bloomberg View. "Friends are nice, but they are rarely equivalent to a spouse. The level of on-call commitment and intimacy is simply different. Your spouse knows you in a 24/7 way that few if any others do," she writes, and that becomes crucially important when you're fighting a serious illness.

The truth is, your life is most likely to improve if you get married, Postrel continues, but "people don’t like to hear that. It’s not fair to single people. It’s not constructive." These days in the US, marriage is "the big sociological divide," with high-income white people much more likely to be married. That's probably why, in their press release about the study, researchers suggested unmarried cancer patients reach out to friends or support groups. "But trying to turn the study’s findings into a general call for 'social support' ignores its stark result," Postrel writes. "We shouldn’t pretend that marriage isn’t a huge advantage." Click for her full column.

More From Newser
My Take on This Story
To report an error on this story,
notify our editors.
Marriage Is a Big Advantage for Cancer Sufferers is...
Show results without voting
You Might Like
Showing 3 of 14 comments
Oct 1, 2013 11:00 AM CDT
Forgot to mention however how many women die because their husbands killed them. But let's not mention that. Guess it makes a difference only sometimes. Otherwise you might want to take your chances with cancer..
Oct 1, 2013 10:59 AM CDT
Wow. What a surprise. Having someone to take you to doctor appointments, to pay the bills while you get better, to just have someone care if you live or die makes a difference...Who would have thought it? Who thinks up these surveys.
Sep 30, 2013 8:45 PM CDT
Well, if high income white people are more likely to be married, maybe it isn't marriage per se thats boosting the survival odds...