Social support 'can help in battle against lung cancer'

7 September 2012

Married people who are battling against lung cancer are more likely to survive the disease for a longer time period than singles.

This is according to new research carried out by scientists at the University of Maryland, which studied 168 patients with locally advanced lung cancer.

Each person had been treated with chemotherapy and radiation between January 2000 and December 2010, with 33 per cent of married patients still alive three years after the therapy began.

However, just ten per cent of people who were fighting lung cancer and were single at the time of treatment survived for the same length of time.

Married women fared the best in the study, with 46 per cent having a three-year survival rate, while single men had the worst rate with just three per cent surviving.

Elizabeth Nichols, a radiation oncology resident at the University of Maryland Greenebaum Cancer Center, pointed out: "The reason for this is unclear, but our findings suggest the importance of social support in managing and treating our lung cancer patients."

Lung cancer is still a major medical concern in Britain, with Cancer Research UK stating that 41,428 new cases of the diseases were recorded across the country in 2009 alone.

Posted by Jeanette Royston


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