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Married esophageal cancer patients fare worse in some quality of life aspects than single patients
Date:9/26/2007

f legal worries, all patients reported improvement, but the singles moved 1.1 points up the scale, while the married patients gained only 0.2 points.

These findings were surprising, as we thought wed be demonstrating improved outcomes in married patients, Miller said.

Most previous studies comparing the quality of life of married and single cancer patients, chiefly in breast but also in brain cancer, indicate that married people do better than single people, noted Miller. He said one reason why the current study came out differently could be that oesophageal cancer has a worse prognosis in comparison to some of the other types of cancers previously studied.

Also, there were approximately nine men to every woman in the oesophageal cancer group. This gender ratio may account for the difference between the latest results and those seen in studies of breast cancer patients.

Its hard to interpret why married patients didnt do as well as single patients, but one explanation could be that having a family to support and care for when you have a serious and potentially life-threatening disease may increase a persons worries, leading to a decrease in quality of life, said Miller. Being single may be associated with less negative changes in quality of life over time because the disease is more disruptive if you have others relying on ones participation in family social and economic activities.

Married patients diagnosed with oesophageal cancer may require extra diligence when evaluating pain and other somatic complaints, and there may be issues outside the standard concerns of medicine, Miller said.


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Contact: Emma Ross
rosswrite@mac.com
34-932-308-832
ECCO-the European CanCer Conference
Source:Eurekalert

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