The Cancer Research Center of Laval University, Quebec (Canada), has conducted a survey of about 1,000 cancer patients who underwent surgery, who were asked if they had problems sleeping at night or to reconcile the dream. The results, which have been published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, suggest that more than half of cancer patients could suffer insomnia during treatment, a problem that, in some cases, may persist for months.

"Insomnia is a frequent and lasting problem in patients with cancer, particularly at the level of the syndrome," explains Savard, referring to the insomnia syndrome, a problem that manifests itself with persistent symptoms, such as needing more than half an hour to fall asleep. less three nights a week.

More than half of cancer patients could suffer from insomnia during treatment, a problem that, in some cases, may persist for months

"Early intervention strategies, such as cognitive-behavioral therapy, could prevent the problem from becoming increasingly severe and chronic," he added.

Savard's team followed these patients, who were between 23 and 79 years old and most had early-stage cancers, to see if their sleep and symptoms changed months after finishing treatment. During the treatment, 59 percent said they had symptoms of insomnia and of them, almost half suffered symptoms so severe as to be typical of the insomnia syndrome. The index presented by these patients was three times greater than that of the general population. A year and a half later, 38 percent of these patients had symptoms of insomnia.

Carol Enderlin, who studies sleep in women with breast cancer at the University of Arkansas, has commented that patients should "be aware of sleep and the importance of sleep, inform the doctor about their sleep changes before they sleep. aggravate and not be afraid to bring up the subject ".

Source: Reuters / EP

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