June 11, 2012 07:37 ET Listen Up, Men, a Wife Can Save Your Life

New Research Finds Married Men at Better Odds in the Fight Against Prostate Cancer

NEW YORK, NY--(Marketwire - Jun 11, 2012) - The role of the wife can now be appreciated for a whole new reason. Two separate studies recently found that married men are less likely to succumb to prostate cancer, particularly after radical prostatectomy, than their unmarried counterparts. Not only was the mortality rate significantly improved for married men, but they also had the lowest mean PSA level at the time of diagnosis.

"While there may be no direct medical cause and affect here," said Dr. David Samadi, Vice Chairman of the Department of Urology and Chief of Robotics and Minimally Invasive Surgery at Mount Sinai Medical Center, "there are a number of lifestyle factors that are likely to have contributed to these results."

In terms of prostate cancer prevention, married men tend to live more balanced lifestyles with regard to healthy eating, exercise, and stress-reducing activities. At the urging of their wives and children they may be more diligent about preventative medical care and more likely to comply with routine screenings such as the PSA test.

Once diagnosed with prostate cancer, a strong support system can lend a significant recovery boost. "Family is everything for many of my patients," said Dr. Samadi, "everyday I meet with men, wives, and even children to discuss prostate cancer treatment and recovery. I've seen first-hand the drive to recovery that these men have. They'll do whatever it takes to cure their prostate cancer and live quality lives with their families."

In addition to the emotional and social support surrounding married men and fathers, researchers also speculate they may be more likely to adhere to post-operative care and adjuvant therapies for the sake of their families, thereby increasing their survival rate.

One study, conducted at the Mayo Clinic in Phoenix, Arizona, found unmarried men could have an increased prostate cancer mortality rate of as much as 40 percent over married men. Overall, mortality rates for unmarried men could be as much as 51% higher than those who chose to tie the knot.

Researchers at the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis found a more conservative benefit to marriage with an increased prostate cancer mortality rate of almost 3 percent in unmarried men and an increased general mortality rate of nearly 2 percent. No increased rate was identified for divorced or widowed men, however.

As a world-renowned robotic prostate cancer surgeon and outspoken supporter of annual PSA screenings, Dr. Samadi hopes that, if nothing more, the wife factor gets men to the doctor sooner. "Ladies, you must continue to urge your husbands and fathers to have annual PSA tests. Early detection is the best defense against the life-threatening affects of prostate cancer."

To the husbands he says, "I'm a married man and I certainly know the importance of thanking my wife. Men, it sounds like we have one more reason to recognize all that they do for us." Dr. Samadi is the originator of the custom SMART (Samadi Modified Advanced Robotic Technique) prostate removal surgery and has performed more than 4,000 successful procedures to date.

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