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Poor Sleep Linked to Cancer Growth

Restless nights affect the immune system.

Could too many restless nights increase your risk of developing cancer?

A new study in animals finds that poor-quality sleep, where you wake up frequently, can speed cancer growth, increase tumor aggressiveness and dampen the immune system's ability to control or eradicate early cancers.

"It's not the tumor, it's the immune system," said Study Director David Gozal, MD., Chairman of Pediatrics at the University of Chicago Comer Children's Hospital. "Fragmented sleep changes how the immune system deals with cancer in ways that make the disease more aggressive."

The National Institutes of Health funded this study, which is in the current issue of the Journal, Cancer Research.

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