Researchers at the University of Surrey in Guildford are planning to study the effect of cervical cancer on the relationship between men and women. This study is being touted as the biggest study into the psychological and emotional effects of the cancer on UK population.
The study will be instituted for duration of five years and will examine the impact of cervical cancer on the emotional and physical lives of couples. The researchers have said that they are looking to recruit around 500 newly diagnosed women with the cancer.
The team is being led by consultant surgeon Simon Butler-Manuel and lecturer Alison Nightingale, who was herself diagnosed with the cancer in August 2004. "In my personal experience, cervical cancer is a very, very lonely disease," she said. "One small-scale study found that partners suffered the same levels of cancer-related distress as the women going through treatment."
She added that there was absolutely no information on the reaction of partners to cervical cancer. "I think partners are a neglected group of people who probably need a substantial amount of support or at least some way of understanding what is going on."
The study will also study the effects of the cancer on important organs like the bowel and the bladder.