Print Edition - 2018-05-17  |  Health and Living

Marriage may be good for catching melanoma

  • New study

May 17, 2018-

Married people may be more likely to spot a deadly skin cancer sooner than their counterparts who aren’t part of a couple. Compared to married patients, widows were 70 percent more likely to have early-stage melanoma diagnosed when it was thicker and harder to treat, while divorced people were 38 percent more likely to get diagnosed later and never-married individuals had 32 percent higher odds, the study team reports in JAMA Dermatology.

“We suspect that part of the reason that married patients present with earlier-stage melanoma is from having another pair of eyes on their skin that allows for identification of suspicious lesions,” said lead author Cimarron Sharon of the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia. “People in long-term relationships see their partner’s skin frequently over time, and are able to notice any new or changing lesions, especially in difficult to see areas, such as the back,” Sharon said. Melanoma diagnoses and deaths have been rising steadily in recent years despite widespread prevention efforts aimed at encouraging people to limit sun exposure and use sunscreen and protective clothing when they’re outdoors. Even with the majority of melanoma cases that are caught early, the thickness of tumors can influence how easy they are to treat and patients’ survival odds.

Published: 17-05-2018 07:33

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