Wednesday December 12, 2018

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
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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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World’s Smallest Wearable Can Help in Preventing Skin Cancer

It also demonstrated the ability to measure white light exposure for seasonal depression, a mood disorder characterised by depression that occurs at the same time every year

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World's smallest device to prevent skin cancer, mood disorder risk. Pixabay

Scientists have developed the world’s smallest wearable, battery-free device that can warn people of overexposure to ultraviolet rays (UV) — a leading factor for developing skin cancer.

Currently, people do not know how much UV light they are actually getting. The rugged and waterproof device interacts wirelessly with the phone and helps maintain an awareness and for skin cancer survivors.

Smaller than an M&M (colourful button-shaped chocolates) and thinner than a credit card, the device can optimise treatment of neonatal jaundice, skin diseases, seasonal affective disorder and reduce risk of sunburns and skin cancer.

Users can glue the device on to their hats, clip it to sunglasses or stick it on their nail and can simultaneously record up to three separate wavelengths of light.

It is always on yet never needs to be recharged.

“There is a critical need for technologies that can accurately measure and promote safe UV exposure at a personalised level in natural environments,” said Steve Xu, from Northwestern University in the US.

Cancer
Cancer Ribbon. Pixabay

“We hope people with information about their UV exposure will develop healthier habits when out in the sun,” said Xu.

There are no switches or interfaces to wear out, and it is completely sealed in a thin layer of transparent plastic, the researchers stated, in the paper published in the journal Science Translational Medicine.

Participants who mounted device on themselves recorded multiple forms of light exposure during outdoor activities, even in the water.

Also Read- First NASA Probe to Return Asteroid Sample Reaches Destination

The findings showed that it monitored therapeutic UV light in clinical phototherapy booths for psoriasis and atopic dermatitis (immune diseases) as well as blue light phototherapy for newborns with jaundice in the neonatal intensive care unit.

It also demonstrated the ability to measure white light exposure for seasonal depression, a mood disorder characterised by depression that occurs at the same time every year. (IANS)