Marriage entails a lot of hard work, and at times it can take its toll on couples, but a new study from experts reveals that it can help beat cancer.

Scientists from the University of California San Diego in the United States analyzed over 60,000 patients who have six types of blood cancers, and they discovered that those who are married have greater chances of survival than those who aren’t.

Those who have spouses were more likely to feel that they had “something to live for” and are constantly “nagged” by their partners to go visit a doctor after acquiring the disease, says researchers, according to Zee News.

The findings were presented at the American Society for Clinical Oncology conference held this week. They looked at the records of patients with leukemia and other types of blood cancer.

For single patients, the study revealed they are about 21 percent more likely to die on the average. Those with follicular lymphoma had 43 percent higher chances of dying, while those who suffer from Hodgkin’s lymphoma had 37 percent.

Dr Matthew Wieduwilt said that single patients frequently show signs “at a later stage and are sicker.” He added that the risk was more present among single patients, as single women tend to have more support despite not being married.

“Married people and people with families are more likely to stick to treatment. They have a support system making them go to chemo, reminding them to take their medication,” Wieduwilt explained, according to the Daily Times.

Wieduwilt also emphasized the need for health services to take better care of single patients based on the results, suggesting that these services need to act as “surrogates” for a spouse because single people do not take care of themselves every so often.

Meanwhile, Maria Elena Martinez, a professor at the university, suggested that doctors should take it as a “red flag” when cancer patients come in for a checkup without a support system.