Married people have a better chance of surviving cancer than single people.

A group of Harvard researchers reached that conclusion after analyzing the medical records of nearly 745,000 Americans diagnosed with cancer between 2004 and 2008.

They found married cancer patients were 20 percent less likely to die of the disease compared to those who are separated, divorced, widowed or never married.

The researchers' analysis indicated being married may have contributed more than chemotherapy treatment to the survival of patients with certain types of tumors.

One researcher said the overarching message of this study may be that having social support is a key component in cancer survival.

The findings were published in the "Journal of Clinical Oncology."