Art of Woman

Marriage is a Miracle Cure!

The Canberra Times published an article from The Independent about the effect of marriage on cancer patients on Saturday 8 September 2012. Marriage is shown to improve the three year survival rate of cancer patients by threefold. “If marriage were a drug, it would be hailed as miracle cure.” says The Independent. Caner patients within a marriage had significantly greater chance of survival than single patients. The study followed 168 cancer patients over a decade of radiation and chemotherapy treatments. Survival after three years was 33% for married patients compared to 10% survival after three years for single patients.

Married women cancer patients fared best with 46% increased survival while married men had 25% increased survival rate. Single men fared the worst with only 3% increased survival rate. So marriage is very beneficial.

I have often wondered why so many men (and some independent women) make such a fuss about getting married, as if they are being coerced or cajoled somehow. Marriage has suffered from a lot of disrespectful jokes and these affect people’s attitude and willingness to commit to marriage.

The study does not consider why marriage gives such a large benefit. Cancer treatment requires a lot of complex treatments, medicines and frequent trips to the doctor or clinic. The treatments and medical investigations often involve stressful and time consuming procedures. A spouse is a great asset to make sure that all appointments are attended, medicines taken as prescribed and complex procedures and followed correctly. I agree that social and practical support is an important factor in assisting ill people regain health.

While it was good to see an article that shows the benefits of marriage for a change, I would have liked a study that included the affection level of the marriage. I have a theory that marriage confers more benefits than simply the mechanics of appointments and medicines. Being in a significant relationship can give a spouse an extra reason to live. Being married can, quite literally, make life worth living.