Do people with cancer postpone death to celebrate special occasions?

Cancer Pract. Nov-Dec 1995;3(6):351-5.


Several researchers have claimed that a connection exists between deathdays and birthdays or other special occasions. Some people, especially women, appear to postpone death until after their birthdays or other special occasions to celebrate these events one more time. The purpose of this retrospective study was to determine if a deathday-birthday or deathday-Christmas connection was evident in cancer-related deaths. Data were obtained from the Rochester (New York) Regional Tumor Registry (N = 2566), the New York State Cancer Registry (N = 50,562), and the Ohio State Department of Health (N = 73,907) for three samples of individuals who died from cancer. Only a few deathday-birthday connections were evident. However, these connections were not replicated across states and years.

MeSH terms

  • Anniversaries and Special Events*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Life Expectancy*
  • Male
  • Motivation
  • Neoplasms / mortality*
  • Neoplasms / psychology*
  • New York / epidemiology
  • Ohio / epidemiology
  • Palliative Care
  • Quality of Life
  • Registries / statistics & numerical data*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Seasons
  • Survival