Childhood Cancer Survivors and Sleep

Young cancer survivors can experience sleep and attention issues

/ Author:  / Reviewed by: Joseph V. Madia, MD

(RxWiki News) Everyone feels better after a good night's sleep. Everyone also feels listless after a restless night.

This is especially true for childhood cancer survivors. 

A recent survey indicates childhood cancer survivors who experience poor sleep patterns have cognitive issues.

"Childhood cancer survivors should seek help to improve sleep quality"

Kevin Krull, PhD, of St. Jude's research hospital in Memphis, summarized a recent questionnaire filled out by 1,426 patients whose childhood cancer was treated between 1970-1986.

After at least 25 years of cancer treatment, 20 percent of these patients reported experiencing cognitive impairment. Just being a cancer survivor alone makes one already at high risk for memory and attention problems.

But the sleep deprivation problably magnifies their memory and attention struggles. The study indicates the cancer survivors who did report sleep deprivation were three to four times more likely to have memory and focus difficulties.

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Review Date: 
April 11, 2011
Last Updated:
April 12, 2011