Single cancer patients face death sooner

Single cancer patients are more likely to die within 10 years than those who are in relationships, new research shows.

Cancer patients who are single are more likely to die within a decade of being diagnosed.

A study by the Cancer Council of Queensland and QUT, looked at 176,050 cases of the 10 leading types of cancer in Queensland, diagnosed in the 16 years to 2012.

It found that single cancer patients are more likely to die within 10 years than those who have partners.

The chance of death was 26 per cent higher for single men, and 20 per cent higher for single women, across all cancers.

Cancer Council Queensland chief executive Jeff Dunn said the support of a partner had clear benefits when it came to surviving cancer.

"Patients without a partner were not only at increased risk of death from their diagnosed cancer, but also from other causes of death," Prof Dunn said.

"This pattern was consistent across the 10 leading cancers examined in Queensland, and independent of cancer stage."

Prof Dunn there were likely many reasons why those in relationships did better.

"Having a partner has been linked to a healthier lifestyle, greater financial resources and increased practical or social support while undergoing treatment," he said.

"Support from a partner can also influence treatment choices and increase social support to help manage the psychosocial effects of cancer."

He said the study showed health professionals must tailor their approach when treating single patients, to ensure they get the kind of support that might improve their survival prospects.

Source AAP

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