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Study finds cancer may prompt divorce for some couples

Many marriages have come to an end in Ohio. Divorce occurs for a number of reasons, but one recent study is highlighting an interesting reason that causes some to divorce.

According to a new study, marriages in which the wife is diagnosed with cancer are seven times more likely to end in divorce than if the husband was diagnosed. The 2009 research examined 500 patients with different types of cancer or multiple sclerosis.

The same researcher believes that cultural expectations of the woman may have something to do with why men more often choose to leave their ailing wife. According to him, the domestic workload that many wives still carry but can no longer perform because of cancer -- such as cooking, cleaning and caring for children -- may cause a man to feel lost or even abandoned. This feeling, he believes, may cause them to choose to separate from their spouse and attempt to find it somewhere else.

An oncologist reported that he sees this similar issue arise in many couples, regardless of sex or age. He even said that some patient spouses have informed him that they began the separation process as soon as they heard the diagnosis. According to him, many do not care if the cancer is curable or not, the effect on a marriage is still the same.

Even though statistics reported that women are seven times more likely to be left by their spouses when diagnosed with cancer, many oncologists report that the support some couples show for one another during this sort of hardship is undeniable. Though divorce may occur in some cases, cancer can also strengthen a marriage.

Source: ABC News, "In Sickness and in Health - Does a Cancer Diagnosis Up Divorce Risk?," Courtney Hutchison, Oct. 6, 2011

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