A remarkable study conducted by researchers in China has determined that patients diagnosed with malignant pleural mesothelioma have better cancer-specific survival and overall survival if they are married. The researchers believe that the poorer prognosis in unmarried patients is related to insufficient treatments and socioeconomic and psychosocial factors.
Mesothelioma Study Points to Better Outcomes for Married Mesothelioma Patients
The mesothelioma study was published in the journal Frontiers in Medicine and was authored by researchers from the Department of Anesthesiology of The First Hospital of Jilin University in Changchun, Jilin, China. The researchers’ goal was to determine whether marital status was a positive prognostic factor in the rare asbestos-related disease in the same way that it is for other malignancies, including pancreatic cancer, breast cancer, lung cancer, melanoma, and prostate cancer.
To test whether marital status has an impact on malignant pleural mesothelioma survival, the scientists relied on the research data collected by the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) program, which includes 18 different cancer registries’ research data and covers 30% of the U.S. population. They determined that the registry included data from 8,673 patients between 2004 and 2015 and after applying exclusions, were left with a data set of 3,997 patients.
Marriage Study Reveals Interesting Statistics on Mesothelioma Patients
After categorizing the nearly 4,000 malignant pleural mesothelioma patients as either married or unmarried (which included never married, divorced, separated, and widowed), they found that the married group was statistically younger and received more active treatment, including surgery, chemotherapy, and radiotherapy. Though the condition is still considered terminal, married patients had a 13% lower risk of death compared to unmarried patients.
Notably, though some had hypothesized that married patients sought diagnosis earlier, the analysis revealed more early-stage disease among the unmarried group. Instead, it seems that marriage made a difference for those with more advanced disease. The researchers attributed this to the support provided by a partner and the contrasting proven impact of loneliness on tumor growth among the unmarried. The researchers also suggested that spouses and children of married patients impacted compliance with doctors’ advice and encouraged active treatment.
If you or someone you love has been diagnosed with malignant mesothelioma, the Patient Advocates at Mesothelioma.net are here to give you the answers you need. Contact us today at 1-800-692-8608.FREE Mesothelioma Packet