Cancer Treatments Linked to Aggravated Insomnia

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Insomnia symptoms become intensified by cancer treatments and their side effects, according to a study published online in the journal Cancer.

In a longitudinal study involving 465 patients with breast cancer and 263 patients with prostate cancer, Insomnia Severity Index (ISI) and somatic symptoms were assessed at baseline and 2, 6, 10, 14, and 18 months later.

Results showed that patients with breast cancer who underwent radiotherapy and chemotherapy experienced an increased insomnia severity, but those who underwent hormone therapy did not.  In patients with prostate cancer, androgen deprivation therapy was also associated with increased insomnia.

A variety of somatic symptoms were found to significantly mediate the effects of chemotherapy and radiotherapy on insomnia in patients with breast cancer.

Furthermore, night sweats were determined to have a significant mediating role for hormone therapy in patients with breast cancer and patients with prostate cancer.

The study suggests that side effects of cancer treatments be more closely monitored and managed in order to prevent the aggravation of insomnia symptoms in patients.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Improves Insomnia in Cancer
Insomnia symptoms become intensified by cancer treatments and their side effects.
Insomnia affects between 30% to 60% of patients with cancer but to the authors' knowledge little is known regarding factors associated with its development.
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