Women with breast cancer who are happily married have a better chance of survival than those in unhappy relationships, according to scientists.
Previous research has shown women with larger social networks are more likely to survive the disease. Now a new study has found the quality of a woman's personal relationships are just as important as how many people she interacts with.
A team from the Kaiser Permanente Division of Research in California studied 2,264 women who were diagnosed with early-stage, invasive breast cancer between 1997 and 2000.
After providing information on their personal relationships, they were characterised as socially isolated - few ties, moderately integrated, or socially integrated, with many ties.
Study leader Candyce Kroenke, said: 'We found that women with small social networks had a significantly higher risk of mortality than those with large networks.'
The study found that socially isolated women were 34 per cent more likely to die from breast cancer or other causes than socially integrated women.
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