Tuesday February 19, 2019

Childhood Cancer Survivors More Likely to Experience Sleep Problems as Adults

Addressing disrupted sleep in these survivors may improve long-term psychological functioning

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Cancer
Cancer Ribbon. Pixabay

Childhood cancer survivors are more likely to experience sleep problems and daytime sleepiness as adults which may result in greater likelihood of persistent or worsened emotional distress, preliminary results of a study suggests.

The findings, presented during the SLEEP 2018 meeting in Baltimore, suggested that cancer survivors were more likely than siblings to report sleep problems as adults.

The researchers also found that survivors were 31 per cent more likely to report daytime sleepiness and 26 per cent more likely to have poor “sleep efficiency”.

“Our results indicate that for survivors of childhood cancer who reported sleep problems, there is a greater likelihood of worsening or persistent psychological distress,” said lead author Lauren Daniel, Assistant Professor at Rutgers University-Camden in New Jersey.

“Thus, addressing disrupted sleep in these survivors may improve long-term psychological functioning,” Daniel added.

Representational image.
Representational image. Pixabay

According to the researchers, sleep disorders are related to emotional and physical health in the general population, but research in survivors of childhood cancer is limited.

This study characterised sleep behaviours in adults who had survived childhood cancer and examined associations among sleep, cancer diagnoses, treatment exposures, and emotional functioning.

For the study, researchers examined 1,933 childhood cancer survivors. Participants had a mean age of 35 years and a mean time since diagnosis of 23.5 years. The study also involved 380 siblings with a mean age of 33 years.

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Both groups completed sleep quality, fatigue and sleepiness measures.

Emotional functioning was assessed about eight years before and two years after the sleep survey.

“Sleep is quite amenable to behavioural interventions. Efforts that improve sleep may improve both health and quality of life in long-term childhood cancer survivors,” said Daniel. (IANS)

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Low Cure Rate For Childhood Cancer in India: Experts

On International Childhood Cancer Day, the hospital organised a ‘Sit and Draw competition’ with pediatric patients and rewarded the winner

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Health insurance covers only for hospitalization and doesn’t necessarily cover the medical expenses incurred for the treatment of major illnesses. flickr

Childhood cancer comprises almost 3-5 per cent of the total cancer cases in India, experts said here on Friday, expressing concern over the low cure rate due to lack of available data.

“The disturbing reality is that the cure rate of pediatric cancer is almost 80 per cent in the developed countries. When we see the data from major cancer centres, it actually can match up to the Western standard but this data is not enough,” Haemato-Oncologist Vivek Agarwala said at an awareness programme conducted by Narayana Superspecialty Hospital, Howrah.

According to the Indian Council for Medical Research, cancer in children constitutes approximately 3-5 per cent of the total cancer cases in India.

Agarwala said a large portion of the incidence of childhood cancer in society is still not addressed.

Cancer survivor. Flickr

Also, a large section who don’t have access to premier institutes are often diagnosed late due to financial crunch and that is why the overall treatment rate in India is low.

“Probably, the government and society at large are not considering it a big problem as it is just around 5 per cent. We are always campaigning for breast and cervical cancers,” Agarwala said.

“We must remember this 5 per cent of cancer is majorly curable if given proper treatment,” he said.

Leukaemia and retinoblastoma (a form of cancer where children have a white eye) are the two common forms of cancer in children.

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Talking about awareness and symptoms that parents need to watch out for, he said: “Symptoms are different for different cancers, but children who have cancer have poor growth, poor weight gain and decreased appetite. One must get their children evaluated on seeing these symptoms”.

On International Childhood Cancer Day, the hospital organised a ‘Sit and Draw competition’ with pediatric patients and rewarded the winner. (IANS)