Better quality of life means greater survival

By Lauren Edwards • Published: January 16th, 2008
Category: Health in a Heartbeat

You’ve always heard that laughter is the best medicine. As it turns out, this may be truer than ever… especially among those with serious illnesses. A recent U-S study of cancer patients found that quality of life was the strongest predictor of overall survival for people with certain types of locally advanced lung cancer.

The study, which compared patients with varying quality of life scores, found that patients who had a lower quality of life before receiving cancer treatment had a death rate that was almost seventy percent higher than those with a better quality of life prior to treatment. Although factors like tumor size and the stage of the disease continue to be important considerations, overall quality of life measures such as social support may make the most difference in winning the fight against cancer.

Interestingly, the study also found that for patients whose quality of life improved over time, there was a corresponding increase in their survival rate. So if you or someone you know is dealing with an illness… big or small… you may want to consider how important the support of family and friends really is. Simply having someone drive you to and from treatments, help you prepare your meals and spend time making you laugh can make getting through anything much easier. It’s never too late to make your life… or the life of someone close to you… better. It doesn’t take much, and it could make all the difference in the world.