Women with cervical cancer had a 40 per cent higher chance of getting divorced than other women. Men with testicular cancer were 20 per cent more likely to get divorced than similar men without cancer. In research presented today, Thursday, September 27, 2007 at a meeting of the European Cancer Organisation, Norwegian experts spoke about harsh realities of divorce. This has important connection with sex and relationships..
For nearly two decades, the study looked at 2.8 million people in Norway, comparing the divorce rates of 215,000 cancer survivors to those in couples with no cancer. Astri Syse, an epidemiologist at the Norwegian Cancer Registry led this study.
7 out of 10 women DO NOT LEAVE their husbands though they have cancer of testis at age 20 years
7 out of 10 men leave their wives who have cancer of the lower part of womb at 20 years age
Age 20 years with Cervical Cancer in Women 69 %
Age 20 years with Testicular Cancer in Men 34 %
Normal husbands in Norway who divorce even at 60 year age 16 %
(little less than women)
Normal wives divorce even at 60 years 19 % 2 out of 10
Astri Syse said that because sex is a particularly important way for young couples to cement their relationship, a cancer diagnosis that affects a couple’s sex life might be very damaging. “No patient develops cancer in a social vacuum,” she said. “The diagnosis will always have an impact on a loved one, and in some cases, they may decide to leave.”
“There’s a myth that if you get breast cancer, your husband will leave you,” she said.
In fact, she and her colleagues found that survivors of breast cancer were less likely to get divorced than similar women without the disease.
Syse said that it was only cervical and testicular cancer that produced a spike in divorces. Other types of cancer did not result in more divorces. Both types of cancer are curable and mainly affect young people.
“Sex could have something to do with this,” said Lesley Fallowfield, a professor of psycho-oncology at Sussex University who was not connected to the study. “If men and women with cervical or testicular cancer aren’t having sex with their partners, that may be a problem.”
Fallowfield said that couples affected by cancer early on in their marriage might be more likely to divorce if they had not yet had children, or if the illness caused financial hardship.
Divorce was least likely to occur when the cancer had spread, or in most fatal types of cancer.
• Except cancer of cervix in women and cancer of testis in men other types of cancer do not show increase in divorces.
• Myth that breast cancer leads to high rate of divorces was blasted. In fact it does not.
• Doctors should be treating not only cancer but also sex and relationship problems