The prevalence of insomnia in cancer patients

by Martin Reed on 28 November 2011 in insomnia causes

We already know that cancer is one of many insomnia causes. I've also written about suggestions that insomnia may even cause cancer.

Today, I want to talk more about cancer as a potential insomnia cause.

According to a study out of the Laval University Cancer Research Centre in Quebec, more than 50% of cancer patients may suffer from insomnia during treatment. Even worse, these sleep problems can persist for months after treatment.

The study looked at 962 individuals aged between 23 and 79 who were undergoing surgery for cancer and asked them if they had trouble falling asleep or staying asleep (two major insomnia symptoms). 59% reported insomnia symptoms - a rate three times higher than that of the general population. 18 months later, 38% claimed to be still suffering from insomnia.

Sleep problems have only been recognized as a major issue for cancer patients in the past few years.

Hopefully we'll see a more holistic approach to cancer treatment in the future that treats and helps prevent the sleep disorders associated with this terrible disease.

Source: Journal of Clinical Oncology

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