There’s nothing like a good night’s sleep – so they say. Sleeping is the process that feels just great when we get enough of it and can seriously undermine daily activities when we don’t. It is a time for your body to rest and recuperate from life’s everyday strains. Without it, we know we get run down emotionally and physically. This is a time when the body’s defences are down and we can be prone to infection if lack of sleep is an on-going issue. Indeed, there are even sleep clinics around the country to deal with sleep disorders as they have such a knock on effect in everyday life.
New research from scientists in Japan suggest that a lack of sufficient sleep leads to an increased chance of breast cancer. The findings, published in the British Journal of Cancer, states that women need a minimum of six hours sleep a night. Without this, their chances of breast cancer increase by up to 60 per cent. With 40,000 women a year in Britain being diagnosed with this disease these are obviously not statistics we can afford to ignore.
The good news is that for those women who get the luxury of nine or more hours sleep a night can decrease their chance of contracting breast cancer by nearly thirty per cent. It is thought that the hormone melatonin plays a strong role in preventing the tumours from developing and melatonin is developed during periods of sleep.
These results back up other research that has been carried out into the issue of sleep deprivation and its effects on cancer, according to Cancer Research UK. One in particular suggests that with decreased levels of melatonin in the blood, current tumours will grow at double the speed.
For those with breast cancer already, the patient, it seems, would fare better if they were to hold a health insurance policy when they were diagnosed. Charity Breast Cancer Care has conducted a study into the patients receiving medical attention for breast cancer and found that they are suffering a lack of essential care. In fact, nearly half of patients with advanced breast cancer do not have access to a named health care professional.
This conflicts with the fact that 98 per cent of those with a primary diagnosis of breast cancer are receiving this part of the care plan that offers emotional and medical support. Private health care, funded by private health insurance, is less likely to see a patient suffering such issues given that there is more funding and higher expectations on the professionals and it is a sad fact of life that rather than relying on the state system, which Britain used to be so proud of, we are now seeing people having to turn to health insurance to provide them with the reassurance they want.
Being diagnosed with advanced stage cancer is a very frightening time for patients and the level of care needed is significantly raised above those with a primary cancer. That said, some good news to come from the government this week is that they are now making a way for patients to be able to pay for cancer drugs through their health insurance whilst still receiving NHS care. Mixing the two was not previously allowed and this has led to many complaints as some drugs that could help cancer victims were not affordable or available through certain health authorities.
So it would seem that having a health insurance policy in place can help in many ways, from funding high quality medical help to buying approved drugs otherwise unavailable, to providing enough peace of mind to contribute to a good night’s sleep.