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A new U.S. study finds that marriage problems are associated with poorer outcomes for women with breast cancer. The study showed that women in troubled marriages had higher levels of stress, less physical activity, slower recovery and more symptoms and signs of illness than women who reported good marriages.

Study participants were 100 women who were married or living with a partner at the start of the study and remained in the relationship during the following five years. Out of the 100 women in the study, 72 reported having good marriages and 28 reported distressed marriages. At the start of the study, all the women had high and nearly equal levels of cancer-related stress.

At the end of the study, women in good marriages saw steady reductions in their cancer-related stress, while women in distressed marriages had a much slower recovery. Additionally, most women didn't see a change in the quality of their marriage after they've been diagnosed with cancer.

Although the quality of the marital relationship may not be the first thing women worry about when they get a cancer diagnosis, it may have a significant impact on how they cope physically and emotionally. The study reveals that the increases in stress and other problems that come with a distressed marital relationship can have real health consequences and lead to poorer recovery from cancer.

The quality of relationship is not likely to change after the cancer diagnosis, which means working on improving marriage is important, not only for the emotional well-being but also for your health.


I totally agree. Good job, MoniBRE.