Health Buzz: Married Cancer Patients Live Longer

How to help teens cope with a parent's cancer.

Senior Couple Sitting On The Park Bench
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Study: Married Cancer Patients Often Fare Better Than Those Who Are Unmarried

For a study published Monday in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, researchers analyzed nearly adult 750,000 patients who had been diagnosed with several types of cancers between 2004 and 2008. The results of their research suggest that patients who were married were significantly less likely to die from their disease than those that were single, separated, divorced or widowed. Married patients were also less likely to be diagnosed with metastatic disease and more likely than unmarried patients to undergo surgery or radiotherapy to manage the disease. In the study's accompanying editorial, David Kissane, head of psychiatry for Monash University in Australia, discusses just how big a difference marriage can make when it comes to cancer treatment. "Strikingly, the benefits of marriage are comparable to or greater than anticancer treatment with chemotherapy."

How to Help Teens Cope With a Parent's Cancer

If you've punched a hole in the wall, and you need to fix it, here's how: Buy a wallboard repair patch and some "mud," then spread it with a sheetrock taping knife. Let the wall dry before smoothing it out with a sanding sponge. Apply paint with a white foam roller, and you're done.

That's the kind of advice packed into "My Parent Has Cancer and it Really Sucks," written by father-daughter duo Marc and Maya Silver. Maya was 15 – her sister Daniela 12 – when their mom, Marsha, was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2001. After finishing treatment in 2002, she's now in good health.

Maya and Daniela are far from alone: About 2.85 million children under 18 live with a parent who is battling or has survived cancer, and one-third are teens, according to the journal Cancer. Though coping with a loved one's cancer is tough at any age, teens are thrust into a particularly difficult spot – craving the independence that comes with adolescence, while being sucked into family life and responsibilities at home. [Read more: How to Help Teens Cope With a Parent's Cancer]

The Risks of Pulling an All-Nighter

Let's go back to my first semester at the University of Alabama, writes U.S. News blogger Steven Holbrook. It was the night before my first collegiate final exam – an introductory economics class, I think – and I was, frankly, not ready for it. So, being a typical arrogant freshman, I thought, "Oh, no problem. I'll just pull an all-nighter, ace the test and be playing NBA 2K11 by lunchtime. Piece of cake."

Around 10 p.m., I gathered my sleep-warding weaponry (Red Bull, coffee, loud music and a fan on full blast blowing right in my face) and proceeded to study. I did fine until about 12:30, when my eyelids began to droop slightly. But, after a few Red Bulls – four, to be exact – I was fine. And by that I mean I felt energized and alert enough to run a quick 5K, fight a bear or three, and still have time to get to class and ace my final.

Energy drinks … that's a post for another day, folks.

Anyway, after my energy drink binge, I continued to study. Around 4 a.m., though, I knew I was reaching my limit. I could feel my mind shutting down, my body becoming increasingly weary. Still amid my empty Red Bull cans and notes, I leaned back, closed my eyes – just for a minute, of course – and, slowly, drifted… off… to… [Read more: The Risks of Pulling an All-Nighter]

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