The Danish study from the Institute of Cancer Epidemiology in Copenhagen looked at the records of more than a million men aged 30 or older who had no history of mental illness and who had lived with their partner for over five years.
During the next 13 years, 20,538 partners of the male participants were diagnosed with breast cancer. The study found that the men watching their partner fight cancer were 39% more likely to require hospital care.
Subsequently, 180 of the men were admitted to hospital with severe mood disorders, a much larger proportion than the men whose partners were healthy. Similarly to the above, those whose partners died from breast cancer were also more likely to need hospital treatment.
A spokesman for Macmillan Cancer Support has said that often men feel they need to be the strong one and often keep quiet about how they are really feeling. “This can make dealing with their partner’s cancer even tougher, which is why we urge them to get support for themselves too.”
If you do have a close friend or family member who is suffering with cancer or another debilitating illness then it is perfectly natural for you to be struggling to come to terms with what is happening. Although we all feel like we must remain strong for the sake of our loved one, often our own health, both physical and mental suffer as a result.
Talking to a counsellor may help you to come to terms with and understand how you are feeling and what is happening, because how you feel is also important. The stronger and healthier you are, the more support you can offer someone else.
If you would like to contact a qualified professional in your local area then please do so using the search tool located on the homepage of this site.