Find Love, Find Skin Cancer Earlier

Love is a wonderful thing. Sure, that may seem schmaltzy, but we have a dermatological study to support our sentimentality: recent research shows that people in loving, intimate relationships are more likely to find early signs of skin cancer.

Studying 130 melanoma survivors, Northwestern researchers found that couples with a tight bond are three times more likely to perform the skin self-examinations they had been taught than couples who aren't very close. By being comfortable with their partners seeing their bodies in a less-than-flattering light-and with all the lights on-close couples are able to perform thorough skin exams and therefore increase their chances of finding a melanoma when it's most treatable.

Lead researcher June K. Robinson, MD, says these findings should prompt dermatologists to discuss relationship quality with their patients and recommend a friend or family member if the patient does not have a partner who can provide sufficient assistance.