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The importance of emotional support in ovarian cancer

Patient may have somewhat better survival odds when they feel emotionally supported by family and friends, according a study of University of Iowa.

Researchers found that of 168 ovarian cancer patients, there were 95 deemed to have "high social attachment" - meaning they had relationships that made them feel emotionally secure and closely connected to at least one other person.

And after almost five years, 59 percent of those women were still alive, versus 38 percent of patients with lesser emotional bonds. The researchers are not sure of the reasons for the link. It seemed to go beyond practical factors, like having someone who helps you out day-to-day. But the study cannot say whether a close emotional relationship, itself, affects women's survival odds.

Many people do not know

• More than 21,000 women are diagnosed with ovarian cancer every year, and more than 15,000 will die of the disease.

• There is NO early detection test for ovarian cancer.

• Ovarian cancer is 90 percent treatable if caught in its earliest stages; however, less than 20 percent of women are diagnosed during these stages. Unfortunately, survival rates drop significantly for later-stage diagnosis. Early diagnosis is imperative. (SOURCE: Journal of Clinical Oncology)

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