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Poor sleep ‘may cause cancer’, scandal of early hospital discharge and calls to renew lung cancer campaign

Poor sleeping patterns could be a major contributor to the development of cancer, according reports the BBC.

Apparently research in mice genetically prone to developing breast cancer showed they developed tumours much faster if they had their ‘body clocks’ delayed 12 hours a week for a year.

The study authors said the findings backed up research showing shift work in humans is linked to an increased risk of cancer.

Dr Michael Hastings, from the Medical Research Council, said: ‘I consider this study to give the definitive experimental proof, in mouse models, that circadian [body clock] disruption can accelerate the development of breast cancer.’

The front page of the Daily Telegraph this morning is the ‘scandal of patients sent home too early’ from hospital.

The story comes from a Healthwatch England report, which criticises the ‘revolving door’ of early discharge and emergency re-admission – it found a million pateints are readmitted to hospital as emergency cases within 30 days of being discharged, because they are being ‘rushed out the door’ too quickly.

Meanwhile a group of campaigners including cancer experts has urged the Government to restart its lung cancer awareness campaign, which advises people who have had a cough for three weeks or longer to go and get checked out by their GP, the Independent reports.

The UK Lung Cancer Coalition said the Government had ‘chosen to ignore’ results of the campaign, the paper reports. The previous national campaign led to a 60% increase in GP visits from over-50s for persistent cough, and a 9% increase in lung cancer diagnoses.

A Department of Health spokesperson insisted the campaign had not been shelved and was under review.


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