Married patients suffering from advanced lung cancer are likely to live longer after treatment than those who aren't hitched, according to research released today.

The study by researchers at the University of Maryland Marlene and Stewart Greenebaum Cancer Center in Baltimore found that 33 percent of married patients with the most common type of stage III lung cancer were still alive three years after treatment.

Only 10 percent of single patients were alive three years after undergoing chemotherapy and radiation. The study followed 168 patients over a ten-year period.

Results of the study are being presented today at the 2012 Chicago Multidisciplinary Symposium in Thoracic Oncology.

It is unclear why married patients live longer, said lead author Dr. Elizabeth Nichols, a radiation oncology resident at Greenbaum.

Married papteitns may recieve more social support. Their spouses may help with daily activities and make sure they get proper treatment and follow-up care.