Breast cancer survivors can't sleep
Most breast cancer survivors will suffer sleep deprivation for nearly a decade following their treatment, a cancer conference in Brisbane was told.
A Danish study has looked at the prevalence of, and long-term risk factors for clinically significant sleep difficulty amongst breast cancer patients.
The study found that 51.9 per cent of women surveyed had clinically significant sleep difficulty seven to nine years post treatment, with identified risk factors including a lower personal income, anxiety, higher body mass index, being pre-menopausal, having no children and having at least one parent born in Denmark.
Data from the study¹, co-authored by Ben Colagiuri, was presented to 1200 delegates at the International Psycho-Oncology Society (IPOS) 14th World Congress. Hosted by Cancer Council Queensland, the congress brings together the world's cancer experts to talk about all aspects of cancer, from prevention and awareness to treatment and recovery.
Cancer Council Queensland CEO Professor Jeff Dunn said the study was important in identifying quality treatment outcomes for cancer patients. "Through research we can better understand how cancer affects our patients on a long-term basis and as a result, how to treat them more effectively," he said. "There's strong evidence suggesting that a more holistic approach could be beneficial for patients. This would involve not only treating cancer patients on a physical level, but a psycho-social level too."
A total of 2085 Danish breast cancer survivors were surveyed for the study - three months after surgery and seven to nine years post-surgery. At both stages, the women completed the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (PSQI), together with questionnaires assessing depressive symptoms, trait anxiety, physical activity and health behaviours. "The study concluded that early interventions targeting psychological wellbeing, particularly anxiety and the effects of social inequality could be relevant for preventing or reducing long-term sleep difficulty in the women surveyed," Prof Dunn said.
(Source: Cancer Council Queensland)
For more information on cancer, including breast, prostate, kidney and stomach cancer, see Cancer: Overview.
Article Date: 18/11/2012
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