Does marital status affect prognosis after breast cancer diagnosis?
In a Cancer Medicine study of 298,434 patients diagnosed with breast cancer between 2004 and 2012, married patients had a better prognosis than patients who were single, who in turn had a better prognosis than those who were divorced, separated, or widowed.
When considering race and tumor characteristics, the better prognosis of single patients was only observed in white patients and in patients with tumors expressing estrogen receptors and progesterone receptors.
In the study, a better prognosis was maintained for married patients among all age subgroups, but for single patients, it was seen only in those older than 35 years.
"Our study demonstrates that patients with breast cancer could gain significant benefits from marriage and indicates the importance of psychosocial support to patients with unfavorable marriage," said co-author Zhijun Dai, of Zhejiang University, in China.