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10 AM Group 6: Can lack of sleep potentially lead to colon cancer?Updated automatically every 5 minutes

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Can Lack of Sleep Potentially Lead to Colon Cancer?

Answer: Yes

Among all of the recent studies, it has been said that a lack of sleep can be a large factor in the risks associated with Colorectal cancer, more commonly known as Colon cancer. The results have proven that not reaching six or more hours of sleep per night, puts you at an automatic fifty percent increased risk of developing colon cancer. Information is now becoming more prevalent as it is being circulated all over the internet informing on ways to decrease potential risk factors and in addition, on how to detect symptoms before they become serious and/ or detrimental to an individual's being.

Origin and Prevalence

This question started gaining recognition online after an article published by Science Daily in February 2011. The claim began with a study conducted by University Hospitals Case Medical Center and the findings were first published in the October 8, 2010 issue of the journal Cancer (Thompson et al. 2010). The findings were also published online on February 3, 2011. Researchers studied the sleep quality of 1,240 people who were going to have a colonoscopy. 338 of those study participants were diagnosed with colorectal cancer. Those who were diagnosed were more likely to average less than six hours of sleep per night. Lack of sleep has been proven to cause certain health problems. A lot of people do not realize how important it is to get a good night's sleep. An occasional bad night's sleep will not hurt your health but making it a habit will cause more serious side effects. Not getting enough sleep and poor quality of sleep has been linked to increased risks of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, obesity, high blood pressure, and even death.

Issues and Analysis

According to the article "Can Most Cancer Really Be Prevented?", Cancers are disease that comes from the damaged DNA. As for cancer cells are categorized in Eukaryotic cells, the meaning is all animals already have cancer cells in their genes since they were born. The danger depends on how much amount of cancer cells in their body. Cancers can rise up by many ways. For instance, some certain behaviors can increase the risk of cancer such as eating, smoking, and even sleeping also can impact our health.

Sleeping is one of the big resources to gain energy from. Referring to sleepfoundation.org, teenagers to elders need to sleep at least seven hours or more to earn energy and maintain it for a whole day (How Much Sleep Do We Really Need?). However, there is a new discovery that lacking sleep can harm our immune systems and may end up having serious diseases such as heart disease, diabetes, obesity, and even colon cancer (University Hospitals Case Medical Center, 2011).

How is a lack of sleep associated with cancer of the colon? In our bodies, we have an important hormone secreted by the pineal gland, which is more commonly known as Melatonin. This vital hormone is important, as it serves a variety of different functions to help regulate other hormones and serves as the body's circadian rhythm. The circadian rhythm acts as the body's internal body clock that plays a critical role in when we fall asleep as well as when we wake up. Due to the fact that melatonin is necessary to function is why it is absolutely necessary to ensure we become well rested in order to. Since melatonin acts as an antioxidant to repair cells and help deter cancer, it is crucial that everyone gets at least 6 or more hours of sleep in order to produce a healthy level of melatonin (Dr. Oz, 2011).

Studies have have proven that among the people who received less than six hours of sleep had a fifty percent increased chance of polyps in the colon which can lead to colon cancer. According to Cancer Treatment Centers of America, they have concluded that among the majority of cancers found in the colon and rectum are adenocarcinomas. Of the types if corectoral cancers, Adenocarcinomas make up about 95% of all colorectal cancer cases. What happens is, in the gastrointestinal tract, adenocarcinomas begin to develop in the cells that are located in the lining of the colon and/ or the rectum. Generally, they start as growth tissue called a polyp, which is a particular type of polyp known to be an adenoma that could further develop into cancer. Polyps are often removed during routine colonoscopy before they can potentially lead to cancer.


While cancer itself in not avoidable, you can take steps to reduce your odds of being diagnosed, but you can also do things that will increase your odds. Things such as an unhealthy diet, smoking, and a lack of sleep are just a few things that can up your odds of getting cancer. Sleeping is our biggest resource from which we gain energy, and we need energy to live a healthy life. New research has found that a lack of can greatly damage your immune system leading to diseases such as heart disease, obesity, diabetes, and even colon cancer. We produce a hormone called Melatonin that regulates our sleep cycles and acts as an antioxidant to repair cells and deter cancer, with this comes the necessity of getting 6 or more hours of sleep a night. People who are receiving less than 6 hours of sleep have a 50% chance of growing polyps in their colon that lead to colon cancer. In most cases, polyps are removed before they get the chance to develop into cancerous cells, and routine colonoscopies are a preventative measure that should be taken.


Lack of Sleep Found to Be a New Risk Factor for Colon Cancer. ScienceDaily, ScienceDaily, 8 Feb. 2011, [accessed 2018 Feb 9]


Researchers are studying the link between sleep and cancer | CTCA. CancerCenter.com. 2014

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Thompson CL, Larkin EK, Patel S, Berger NA, Redline S, Li L. Short duration of sleep increases risk of colorectal adenoma. Cancer. 2010 [accessed 2018 Feb 9];117(4):841–847. http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/cncr.25507/full

Staff DO. 5 Wrong Turns That Can Lead to Cancer. The Dr. Oz Show.

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Melatonin. University of Maryland Medical Center.

[accessed 2018 Feb 11]. https://www.umm.edu/health/medical/altmed/supplement/melatonin

Researchers are studying the link between sleep and cancer | CTCA. CancerCenter.com. 1AD Jan 1 [accessed 2018 Feb 11]. https://www.cancercenter.com/community/newsletter/article/researchers-are-studying-the-link-b


Park, Alice. Can Most Cancer Really Be Prevented?. Time.com.

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How Much Sleep Do We Really Need? Excessive Sleepiness.

[accessed 2018 Feb 11]. https://sleepfoundation.org/excessivesleepiness/content/how-much-sleep-do-we-really-need-0

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