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Marital Separation and Cancer Survival Lebanon MO

When it comes to surviving cancer, separation from your spouse in Lebanon appears to be worse for your health than divorce or even widowhood, a new study suggests. In contrast, being married -- or never married -- seems to improve your odds the most.

Mark J Vellek
(573) 874-7800
1705 E Broadway
Columbia, MO
Specialty
Hematology / Oncology, Medical Oncology

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Irving E LaFrancis
(417) 782-7722
2727 Mcclelland Blvd
Joplin, MO
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Internal Medicine, Hematology / Oncology

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Rainer Karl Brachmann, MD
1 Childrens Pl Fl 1
Saint Louis, MO
Specialties
Oncology (Cancer)
Gender
Male
Education
Medical School: Ludwig-Maximilians-Univ, Fak Med, Munchen, Germany (407-16 Pr 1/71)
Graduation Year: 1987

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Dr.David Jaques
(314) 747-2938
1 Barnes Jewish Hospital Plaza
Saint Louis, MO
Gender
M
Speciality
Oncologist
General Information
Hospital: Barnes Jewish Hospital
Accepting New Patients: Yes
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5.0, out of 5 based on 1, reviews.

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Sakuntala S Dutta, MD
(314) 577-8025
3635 Vista Ave
Saint Louis, MO
Specialties
Oncology (Cancer), Radiation Oncology
Gender
Female
Education
Medical School: Guntur Med Coll, Univ Of Hlth Sci, Guntur, Ap, India
Graduation Year: 1965

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William John Moriconi
(314) 842-6472
12700 Southfork Rd
Saint Louis, MO
Specialty
Medical Oncology

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Mark Everett Woodson, MD
(314) 355-5597
11125 Dunn Rd Ste 308
Saint Louis, MO
Specialties
Oncology (Cancer), Hematology-Internal Medicine
Gender
Male
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Medical School: Med Coll Of Wi, Milwaukee Wi 53226
Graduation Year: 1985
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Hospital: St Anthonys Health Center, Alton, Il; Christian Hosp Northeast, Saint Louis, Mo
Group Practice: Hematology Oncology Conslnts

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Robert Savary Malyapa, MD
(314) 362-8501
4921 Parkview Pl Campus Box 8224
Saint Louis, MO
Specialties
Oncology (Cancer), Radiation Oncology
Gender
Male
Education
Medical School: Jawaharlal Inst Of Post-Grad Med Educ, Madras Univ, Pondicherry
Graduation Year: 1979

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Imran Zoberi, MD
(314) 362-8525
Lower Level MS 90 38 635 4921 Parkview Pl
Saint Louis, MO
Specialties
Oncology (Cancer), Radiation Oncology
Gender
Male
Education
Medical School: Washington Univ Sch Of Med, St Louis Mo 63110
Graduation Year: 1996

Data Provided by:
William Allen Emerson, MD
(314) 355-5597
11125 Dunn Rd
Saint Louis, MO
Specialties
Oncology (Cancer)
Gender
Male
Education
Medical School: Univ Of Wa Sch Of Med, Seattle Wa 98195
Graduation Year: 1966

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Marital Separation and Cancer Survival

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MONDAY, Aug. 24 (HealthDay News) -- When it comes to surviving cancer, separation from your spouse appears to be worse for your health than divorce or even widowhood, a new study suggests.

In contrast, being married -- or never married -- seems to improve your odds the most.

An analysis of the records of nearly 3.8 million cancer patients found that married people fared the best after being diagnosed with cancer, while separated spouses were about one-third less likely to survive for a decade.

The stress of a separation seems to be key, said study author Gwen Sprehn, a neuropsychologist at the Indiana University School of Medicine.

"There may be a critical period early in the course of cancer when increases in stress have a particularly adverse effect on the immune system's ability to clear or suppress cancer," she said.

Researchers have known that marriage, in general, is good for a person's health, perhaps because spouses provide physical and emotional support before and during illness.

The findings, which will appear online Aug. 24 in Cancer, will be published in the Nov. 1 print issue of the journal.

After researchers made statistical adjustments to account for possible errors, they found that 36.8 percent of separated people lived for 10 years after cancer diagnosis, compared to 57.5 percent of those who were married. Almost 41 percent of widowed people live for a decade, as did 45.6 percent of those who were divorced and 51.7 percent of those who were never married.

The number of those separated was very small compared to the other groups -- 51,857 compared to 2,184,055 who were married.

Why might separated people die earlier than the widowed?

"The difference may be that the death of a spouse is closer to a natural phase in life," Sprehn said. "Coupled with that, those who are widowed may have a stronger support system, both personally and culturally. Separation, even if it is 'for the better,' is not an expected life event and may be preceded by a period of great conflict."

Janice Kiecolt-Glaser, director of Ohio State University College of Medicine's Division of Health Psychology, said the study is well-done and jibes with her own research on how the most stressful break-ups affect the health of spouses.

"Many studies have now shown that stress and depression reliably enhance inflammation," which can make cancer worse, she said.

The study leaves plenty of questions, however, apparently because of the limitations of the statistics the researchers used, said Hui Liu, an assistant professor of sociology at Michigan State University.

The research didn't take into account the marital history of those surveyed or some other details. "Previous research suggests that remarriages provide less health benefit than first marriages," she said. Also, studies suggest that longer marriages may have more health benefits, she noted, and the bad effects of marriages that fall apart may diminish over time.

More information

The American Institute of Stress has more on the importance of emotional and social support.

Author: By Randy Dotinga
HealthDay Reporter

SOURCES: Gwen Sprehn, Ph.D., neuropsychologist, Indiana University School of Medicine, Indianapolis; Janice Kiecolt-Glaser, Ph.D., director, division of health psychology, Ohio State University College of Medicine, Columbus; Hui Liu, Ph.D., assistant professor, sociology, Michigan State University, East Lansing; Aug. 24, 2009, Cancer, online

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