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Sleep affected in cancer survivors

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Poor sleep is a common problem for long-term breast cancer survivors, according to US researchers.

Two-thirds of women who had been clear of breast cancer for five years or more were rated as having poor sleep quality in a study of 246 patients. Those with hot flushes or depression were deemed most likely to have poor sleep, said the authors.

The findings were presented this week at a conference of the Associated Professional Sleep Societies in Illinois.

A second study, also presented at the conference, suggested many people are worried enough about the prospect of developing cancer that it can negatively affect their sleep patterns.

The research, based on 1,038 patients aged 50-70, none of whom had ever been diagnosed with cancer.

The authors said that 65% of female subjects reported being worried about breast cancer and 49% reported problems sleeping.

‘This is a unique and important finding. It provides practitioners with knowledge with regards to identifying and targeting women who report sleep-related complaints with cognitive behavioural therapy,’ they said.

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