Being married may be a factor in positive mesothelioma outcomes. This is the finding of a study by researchers from a Chinese university published last October.
Mesothelioma is an aggressive cancer caused by exposure to asbestos. There are about 2,000 cases of mesothelioma diagnosed in the United States every year. The global occurrence of mesothelioma has increased at a steady pace in recent years.
Mesothelioma usually has a poor prognosis. This is because symptoms don’t begin to appear until the cancer has become difficult to treat. Some factors that affect prognosis are patient health, the type of treatment, and the type of mesothelioma.
Married Mesothelioma Patients Have Lower Risk of Death
In other cancers, marital status can affect the outcomes of mesothelioma treatment. This has been researched in breast cancer, lung cancer, pancreatic cancer, prostate cancer, and melanoma. This study is one of the first to investigate whether this is also true for mesothelioma.
The patient data for this study came from the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) database. This resource includes data from almost 20 different cancer databases.
The researchers used patient records from 3,997 patients. Almost 70% of these patients were married. Compared to unmarried patients, married patients were usually younger, male, and white. They were also more likely to receive treatment. This could include surgery, chemotherapy, or radiotherapy.
The statistical analysis showed that married patients had a 13% lower risk of death than unmarried patients.
One possible reason for this is because having a partner can reduce stress in a mesothelioma patient. Another reason could be that having the support of a partner makes patients more likely to follow doctor’s advice.
This study highlights the importance of social support in surviving mesothelioma. Social support programs could help patients to fight mesothelioma by reducing loneliness and stress. This could be especially important for unmarried mesothelioma patients.
Pan S, Yan N, Zhao Y, Li Z. Marital status as an independent prognostic factor for patients of malignant pleural mesothelioma. Front Med (Lausanne). 2022;9:955619. Published 2022 Oct 21. doi:10.3389/fmed.2022.955619