A third of widows of cancer victims have no source of support after the deaths of their husbands, a Swedish study suggests.
Previous papers have shown that men aged over 50 with cancer have very few people they can talk to about their illness – one study showed that 80% with prostate cancer only confided in their partner.
Researchers investigated whether the same was true of women. In interviews, they found that one third of the widows, aged 50 and over, of men that have died of cancer also had no one to turn to.
‘We’re surprised that so many women lack deep, emotional contacts,’ Dr Asgeir Helgason, study lead and associate professor at Karolinska Institutet. ‘Our findings suggest that the care of male cancer patients should also be directed at their partners.’
The study was presented at the Nordic Conference on Men’s Health in Stockholm last week.