**Loneliness Kills Cancer Survivors: Shocking Research Unveils Deadly Consequences**

Cancer survivors in Atlanta, Georgia, who experience feelings of loneliness may have a higher risk of mortality. According to a recent study conducted by the American Cancer Society and published in the Journal of the National Comprehensive Cancer Network, loneliness levels among cancer survivors were linked to an increased risk of death. The study, which involved 3,447 cancer survivors aged 50 and above, utilized data from the 2008-2018 Health and Retirement Study.

Researchers used the UCLA Loneliness Scale to assess levels of loneliness, ranging from none to severe. It was found that individuals with the highest levels of loneliness had the greatest risk of mortality. Study author Jingxuan Zhao, a senior associate scientist in health services research at the ACS, highlighted the association between elevated loneliness and a higher risk of mortality among cancer survivors.

The research also revealed that the degree of loneliness reported by survivors was directly related to their mortality risk. Zhao noted that previous studies have shown a similar association between loneliness and mortality risk in the general population, but the robustness of these findings among cancer survivors was somewhat surprising.

With over 18 million cancer survivors in the U.S. and an expected increase to 22 million by 2030, addressing loneliness among survivors has become a critical issue. Zhao emphasized the importance of implementing programs to screen for loneliness and enhance social support for cancer survivors.

Health care providers are urged to pay attention to the findings of this study and consider incorporating strategies to combat loneliness among survivors. With the recent Advisory on the Healing Effects of Social Connection and Community by the U.S. Surgeon General highlighting the adverse effects of loneliness on individuals and public health, addressing loneliness among cancer survivors has become even more crucial.

In response to the study, experts stressed the need for health care providers to screen for loneliness and provide necessary support and interventions. Diana Santiago, a licensed clinical social worker, highlighted the loneliness epidemic among older adults and its potential impact on mental health. Dr. Barbara Krantz, medical director at the Florida branch of a treatment center, emphasized the importance of early identification and intervention to improve the quality of life for cancer survivors.

While the ACS study had some limitations, such as the lack of systematic collection of cancer-related information, researchers are hopeful that future studies can delve deeper into how factors like cancer type and treatment can influence the association between loneliness and survival. Understanding these dynamics can help tailor interventions and support services for cancer survivors facing loneliness challenges.

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