October is marked as the global month for breast cancer awareness. In Pakistan, 109 women a day lose their lives to breast cancer. There are about 40,000 fatalities and over 90,000 new instances of breast cancer each year. Among the other prominent factors, sleep is an essential one. There is quite a deep connection between sleep and breast cancer. Let's have a look at what makes them related.
Sleep and Breast Cancer: What's the Link?
Breast cancer risk may increase with prolonged sleep disruptions. The links between sleep and cancer, however, go deeper. It is common for cancer patients to have trouble sleeping during treatment, and this difficulty may linger even after treatment has stopped. Prolonged shift work has been linked to an increased risk of cancer.
Cancers of the breast, colon, ovaries, and prostate may be linked to disruptions in the "biological clock" that controls sleep and countless other bodily functions. Working the night shift for an extended period of time might deplete a person's melatonin stores and increase their risk of developing cancer.
The experts suggest it is essential to maintain a regular schedule of recommended cancer screenings, including mammograms and screening tests for breast cancer.
Additionally, physical and psychological repercussions of cancer therapy often cause insomnia. Anxiety, despair, profound exhaustion, digestive system troubles, breathing problems, hot flashes, night sweats, and pain are some side effects of cancer treatment that may make it difficult to fall asleep and remain asleep. In cases of persistent insomnia, medical attention should be sought. You may want to ask for fewer visits from hospital staff if you're having problems sleeping there. The use of relaxation techniques and cognitive behavioral therapy are also helpful. Try to stick to the same time every night for bed and every morning for waking up. It may help reset your circadian rhythm by exposing yourself to natural light (daylight), such as sitting near a window or going for a stroll.
For a long time after treatment ends, sleeplessness may be a problem for cancer survivors. Sleep deprivation seriously impacts anyone's potential to succeed in school or work. It's possible that the long-term adverse effects of treatment and the impact of disruptive activities are to blame for the sleep problems experienced by cancer survivors.
A staggering one in every nine Pakistani women will get breast cancer at some point in their lives, making it the Asian country with the highest breast cancer incidence rate. We urge women to start focusing on their health and well-being and never neglect even a slight symptom.