Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Living Alone Linked with Higher Risk of Melanoma Death in Men

A photograph of the cancerous mole.

Men who live alone may have a higher risk of dying from the skin cancer melanoma compared with men who live with a partner, a new study from Sweden finds.

Researchers looked at data on more than 27,000 people diagnosed with melanoma in Sweden between 1990 and 2007, and examined their risk of dying in relation to their cohabitation status at the time of diagnosis.

Of about 13,400 men with melanoma, about 2,400, or 17 percent, died during the study period.

The researchers found that among men with melanoma, those living alone were 30 to 50 percent more likely to die from melanoma compared with those living with a partner at the time of their diagnosis. [10 Do's and Don'ts to Reduce Your Risk of Cancer]

The results held after controlling for factors that could affect the outcome of melanoma, such as the patient's gender and educational level, and the location of the tumor on the body, according to the study, published today (April 1) in the Journal of Oncology.

Part of the reason patients who lived alone had a higher risk of dying from melanoma is their cancer was more advanced when it was diagnosed, said study researcher Dr. Hanna Eriksson, of the Karolinska Institute in Sweden.

The results were similar in men of all ages, regardless of their level of education and place of residence, she said.

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