• If you’re single with cancer, you may get less aggressive treatment than a married person

    Asked by GregP_WN on Monday, December 3, 2018

    If you’re single with cancer, you may get less aggressive treatment than a married person

    What do you think about the idea that if you're single you won't get the same type of treatment as a married person that this article describes?

    If you are divorced, widowed or never married and develop cancer, watch out. You may get less aggressive treatment than your married friends.

    We’ve often heard about studies showing that married adults are more likely to survive cancer than singles. But buried in those same studies is another finding that hasn’t made the headlines. When surgery or radiotherapy is the treatment of choice, patients with spouses are more likely to get it.

    I had no idea that marital status might affect medical care until an oncologist, talking about what treatment to give me, asked if I have a spouse or children. When I said no to both,
    Read full article here>> https://www.washingtonpost.com/national/health-science/if-youre-single-with-cancer-you-may-get-less-aggressive-treatment-than-a-married-person/2018/11/30/a1286d20-ce18-11e8-920f-dd52e1ae4570_story.html

    14 Answers from the Community

    14 answers
    • LiveWithCancer's Avatar

      Wow. I guess a 2nd opinion is especially important for single people to be sure they are getting adequate treatment.

      about 1 year ago
    • beachbum5817's Avatar

      Wow, this is so wrong on so many levels. I am appalled that this happens to anyone. Age, race, gender and marital status should not be what determines the treatment that a person receives. SMH.

      about 1 year ago
    • po18guy's Avatar

      The point of treatment is to save the life or extend the life. If a single person dies due to lack of a caregiver, that serves neither purpose. Same thing with those who have smoked or compromised kidneys or liver. The treatment has to be tailored to serve the overall picture. It also points out that our culture is rotting, if no family, friend or neighbor cares enough to help a cancer patient out.

      about 1 year ago
    • whatnext54's Avatar

      That is outrageous, however, I am not surprised. I've heard there are other factors as well such as age. Now we need to worry about marital status. I do remember my oncoligist asking if I was married.

      about 1 year ago
    • GregP_WN's Avatar

      things like this make a person question every question that we are asked and makes us wonder what the ulterior motive is. What are they really trying to find out when they ask a question?

      about 1 year ago
    • BoiseB's Avatar

      I do feel that there is discrimination against unmarried people and even more so against divorced people who do not remarry. They are seen as losers. I believe that this is in many areas employment, healthcare, it is even hard to build a support system when you are single.

      about 1 year ago
    • LuvinSis' Avatar

      A very interesting read. I'm not sure if the research delved deeply enough into a few factors though

      (1) does single equate simply to the box checked on the form: single, married, widowed, divorced VS single but in a long term committed relationship which isn't an easy demographic to capture simply from records / database

      (2) the age factor. A single person aged 88 could be expected to make different decisions than one who is 58 when it comes to treatment

      (3) economic factors. Single and middle class vs single and financially struggling.

      about 1 year ago
    • wmsavs' Avatar

      I think this article is as short-sighted as those against Obama care with citing death squads determining outcomes for patients. If asked that type a question, it's time to move on to another doctor. I would also report said doctor to the AMA.

      about 1 year ago
    • Carool's Avatar

      @LuvinSis, I thought similarly to what you said in #1. Many couples, both heterosexual and LBGTI, aren't married but are long-term, cohabitating partners.

      Also, other studies have shown that many single people, especially women, are very happy just as they are and have a wide circle of supportive friends.

      And I'd wager that doctors in big cities are less likely to negatively judge single people than are doctors in areas where there are fewer singles.

      about 1 year ago
    • meyati's Avatar

      I was asked these questions-Almost 71, divorced. For boy friends, I tell them that they all have bad knees and can't move my furniture. They said-- You live alone- I say-- No, I live in a 3 generation home. . One oncologist asked me if they'd go with me. I said- Probably-he said to have them go with me, so the doctors and staff would know that my family cares for me.

      I was pretty much bed ridden for almost a year in 2017, because of Whooping Cough. I couldn't even talk- I texted my family-even if they were sitting next to me. I had to have help walking.

      With a bad cough-fever-etc- mute-for months and months, we had an idea of what needed to be done. It's just not like cancer. The fever was horrible, and my family kept taking me in and begged and demanded antibiotics. High fever-covered with sweat-that shouldn't be a brainer. I live in a state with a TB problem-lots of coughing there. Then my X died from lung cancer before the Whooping Cough. They expressed concern about cancer/TB. The network and Medicare didn't want to pay that. Again, visit after visit to get an X-Ray-a simple X-Ray. Then to get the speech pathologist--fight and demand more-over and over.

      Each time, my son or Levi had to threaten to get a lawyer. Plain and simple--they didn't care what was wrong-they expected me to die. They didn't want to spend any energy or money.

      about 1 year ago
    • banditwalker's Avatar

      If we didn't have enough to worry about. I remember being asked whether I was married or not but was told immediately they were just wondering about a support system.

      about 1 year ago
    • mtnrose's Avatar

      I have seen that article...it reminded me of a PBS story I'd seen back in the late 80s called "Who Lives, Who Dies". It spoke of the coming healthcare crisis where unless you had money/good health insurance plan, your chances of surviving were lowered dramatically. I have witnessed family members not receiving all the advantages healthcare professionals could provide because of financial circumstances and the fact that they lived far away from family.
      Now, I find myself in similar circumstances and "older"...wondering just how much aggressive treatments will be available to me because of my age and socioeconomic status. Perhaps I should look into a "rent-a-husband" program.

      about 1 year ago
    • KB2013's Avatar

      Not only single people with cancer but also people who have no children, regardless of their marital status.

      about 1 year ago
    • meyati's Avatar

      Think of widows and widowers --divorced people too

      about 1 year ago

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