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How poor sleep could promote breast cancer


Poor quality sleep could promote inflammation of breast tissue and thus increase the risk of breast cancer, suggests a study published in December 2022 in the journal Cytokine.

The study indeed shows a correlation between characteristics of sleep quality and certain inflammatory markers associated with the risk of breast cancer.

Sue-Ling Chang, Caroline Diorio and Francine Durocher from the Faculty of Medicine at Laval University (Quebec) measured the abundance of 11 inflammatory markers in the breast tissues of 165 women.

Three sleep characteristics were considered: the number of hours of sleep per night, the frequency of insomnia episodes over the past month, and the use of prescribed medication to aid sleep over the past year.

Their analyzes showed that:

  • levels of three of the markers studied (IL-6, IL-10, CRP) were higher in participants who slept less than 7 hours or more than 9 hours per night; (IL: Interleukin)

  • the expression of the genes of two markers (IL-6 and COX-2) was higher in those who slept less than 7 hours or more than 9 hours per night;

  • in postmenopausal women, the higher the frequency of insomnia, the higher the level of the CRP marker;

  • in postmenopausal women, taking medications to aid sleep was associated with higher levels of the marker TGF-β.

Our results will need to be confirmed in a larger cohort of women, but they suggest that poor quality sleep is associated with breast inflammation.sums up Sue-Ling Chang. “Studies have already shown that a chronic inflammatory state can activate reaction cascades leading to cancer.»

Sleep is, along with food or physical activity, a component of cancer prevention, emphasizes Sue-Ling Chang.

Sleep problems affect approximately 30% of the population. They strike women more, 46% of them reporting having sleep problems each night, reports the researcher.

For more information, see the links below.

Psychomedia with sources: Laval University, Cytokine.
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