Do single people want to date a cancer survivor? A vignette study
Having survived stage 4 cervical cancer, Laura Brashier knows she is lucky to be alive. But when the twice-divorced hair stylist, from Rancho. Feb 8, Help for cancer patients exists in many forums: medical guides, resource lists, community forums and — in keeping with a wider trend — dating. But what do you do if you're single and diagnosed with breast cancer? Hide under a rock until your . She can be reached via her Web site, beljournalist.info
After being randomized, they again rated interest in a date, followed by ratings of the presented person on 10 traits i. Finally, all participants including those in the healthy condition were asked when they would like to learn about a cancer history of a potential romantic partner i.
Univariate general linear model with condition healthy vs. General linear models with condition and gender as fixed factors and the traits as dependent variable showed differences in three of the seven traits.
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No significant effects were found for gender or the interaction of condition and gender. Correlations between the assessment of traits and interest in a date varied somewhat between conditions Table 3. In both conditions, respondents were more interested in a date when they assessed the person as being more interesting, independent, healthy, funny, and strong. However, interest of respondents in the healthy condition was also related to them seeing the person as more brave, whereas this was not the case in the cancer condition.
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Interest of respondents in the cancer condition was related to their assessment of the other person as being friendly and experienced, whereas this was not the case in the healthy condition.
Best time for disclosure: Discussion Young adult single students were as interested in dating another student who was treated for cancer a few years earlier than someone without such an illness history.
Their initial interest in the presented person was the strongest factor associated with their final interest in a date, not the illness history.
This suggests that interest in dating a person does not change once someone hears about a cancer history as also indicated by their strong correlation. In addition, these students also attributed positive traits to the cancer survivor such as being brave and strong, while not assessing the survivor as less healthy which was the case with dating website members. These results indicate that some of the worries young cancer survivors have expressed in qualitative studies with respect to dating are unwarranted.
It may be that the effect of media coverage of having cancer is shifting from something to be feared [ 52 ] to something that can be conquered and beaten [ 3253 ].
These students, on average 19 years old, have probably seen many campaigns and posters providing them with success stories of survivors, while their real-life experience with cancer may be more limited. When young adult survivors start dating a new romantic partner, they can expect that others would prefer them to disclose this early on, specifically after a few dates. This second experiment was designed more rigorously than the first one, as we added information on initial interest in a date, to account for basic liking of the person without knowing their illness history.
Also, we added a profile picture of a person with a similar age to the description. However, both experiments presented a survivor who was beyond the treatment phase.
Thus, interest in dating might be different if individuals are faced with potentially dating a cancer patient who is closer to diagnosis and still being regularly checked by their medical providers. Therefore, we built upon experiment 2 and designed experiment 3 which we presented to students in the next academic year, and varied conditions based upon illness statuses: Interest in a date and phase of disease follow-up In the years following end of active treatment, people treated for cancer remain in follow-up.
This means they are regularly checked for their health, and for possible tumor activity to detect metastases or relapse. Some survivors use medication to lower the chance of recurrence. It is possible that fear or distancing from a serious illness is larger when confronted with someone who is still having regular check-ups at the hospital, and therefore may be seen as not yet fully cured.
Also, the illness still plays a role in daily life shortly after treatment completion. Therefore, we hypothesized that students would be less interested in dating someone who has had cancer and is still under close medical monitoring as compared to a survivor who no longer regularly visits the hospital for check-ups related to the treatment of cancer.
Method Participants and design: The method and procedure was similar to experiment 2, only the vignettes were adapted to differentiate between two phases of cancer survivorship.
The online survey was presented to first year medicine students in the year following experiment 2.
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This resulted in a sample of respondents, of which ten left the survey before randomization see Table 1column experiment 3. Participants in the beyond follow-up condition were on average Univariate general linear model with condition beyond follow-up vs. We entered initial interest as measured in part 1, before illness disclosure as covariate. It also appeared that in the beyond follow-up condition, women showed more interest in a date than men, which was contradictory to our hypothesis Table 2.
Hi Pat Glad we are now friends. However, rather than put myself through face-to-face rejection, I wrote him an email setting out my stall. As I expected, he said that he could not cope with it. I think I am going to take myself off the market. It hurts too much and is dragging me down. I think that if the boot was on the other foot and I was approached by a man with incurable cancer, I too would have to think very hard about how the future would be.
My partner died of leukemia in — actually he died from the infection within 36 hours of diagnosis. I obviously wanted him to survive because I loved him, but I also knew that he was a proud and stubborn soul and would push me away. His recovery would have made me his carer and not his lover and that changes everything. I am the type of person who believes in honesty.
It would unfair to start any relationship without telling them about my illness.