MAY 26, 2020 8:05 AM PDT

Does having a child with cancer increase parents' risk of divorce?

A study from Denmark published in the American Cancer Society journal CANCER reports that having a child with cancer does not increase parents’ risk of separation or divorce or affect future family planning. While the study only addresses the emotional impact on families in Denmark, it speaks to the need for the continued support of the family during such troubling times every part of the world.

The study analyzed data from Danish registries that gathered information on families with children with cancer from 1982-2014. The parents of these children were followed until 10 years after the children’s diagnoses, monitoring for separation or divorce. These families results’ were then compared to families with children without cancer. The study was led by Luzius Mader, Ph.D., from the Danish Cancer Society Research Center.  

"Currently, family support services are largely limited to the child's in-patient treatment including support by hospital staff such as social workers or psycho-oncologists as well as through community organizations; however, while more general support services such as marital counseling are widely available, cancer-specific family support services are often lacking after the child's treatment," comments Dr. Mader.

The study’s findings showed that, interestingly, parents of children with cancer had a four percent lower risk of separation and an eight percent lower risk of divorce compared with parents of children without cancer.

Within the group of parents of children with cancer, the results showed that certain demographics were at elevated risk for separation and divorce, namely younger and less educated parents, as well as unemployed parents and those who had children that were diagnosed at a younger age.

Photo: Pixabay

Another unexpected finding from the study was that having a child with cancer did not impede families in Denmark from planning to have more children or postpone such family planning decisions. 

This study showed that for families in Denmark, having a child with cancer was not associated with an overall adverse impact on parents' risk of separation or divorce and future family planning. The authors urge medical practitioners to share these results with their patients’ families.

Sources: CANCER, Eureka Alert

About the Author
BA Environmental Studies
Kathryn is a curious world-traveller interested in the intersection between nature, culture, history, and people. She has worked for environmental education non-profits and is a Spanish/English interpreter.
You May Also Like
AUG 29, 2022
Cancer
Could Robotic Surgery Provide Better Care for Patients with Kidney Cancer?
AUG 29, 2022
Could Robotic Surgery Provide Better Care for Patients with Kidney Cancer?
Renal cell carcinoma (RCC) is the most common type of kidney cancer, accounting for about 90% of kidney cancer incidence ...
OCT 13, 2022
Cell & Molecular Biology
How the Tumor Microenvironment Can Disarm Immunity
OCT 13, 2022
How the Tumor Microenvironment Can Disarm Immunity
Cancer is basically what happens when cells start growing and dividing uncontrollably, and it gets worse when those canc ...
OCT 07, 2022
Drug Discovery & Development
A wearable sensor that can monitor tumor size changes in real-time
OCT 07, 2022
A wearable sensor that can monitor tumor size changes in real-time
As cancer drugs are developed, one important process the drug goes through is testing in experimental animals. The use o ...
OCT 17, 2022
Cancer
The Value of Colonoscopy Screening
OCT 17, 2022
The Value of Colonoscopy Screening
Colorectal cancer (CRC) remains the third most common type of cancer diagnosed in men and women in the United States.&nb ...
NOV 17, 2022
Cancer
Anti-Aging Supplement Linked to Aggressive Breast Cancer
NOV 17, 2022
Anti-Aging Supplement Linked to Aggressive Breast Cancer
Vitamin B3, also known as niacin, is a generic name for a group of biochemical compounds, including nicotinamide ribosid ...
NOV 29, 2022
Cell & Molecular Biology
How a Master Regulator May be Working to Protect Cancer
NOV 29, 2022
How a Master Regulator May be Working to Protect Cancer
Scientists have now discovered yet another way that MYC proteins can promote cancer. MYC has been called a master regula ...
Loading Comments...