Sleep Apnea Is Linked To Cancer


A huge piece of news for snorers. Sleeping Disorders like Sleep Apnea has been directly linked to Cancer.

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On the 20th May 2012 the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health, released a study showing that people suffering from sleep apnea appear to have an significant increased risk of cancer mortality.

Past studies have linked the Sleep Disordered Breathing (SDB) problems to depression, cardiovascular disease, hypertension and earlier death, but this is the first to find a link to cancer.

These findings are based on data from sleep studies carried out on 1,522 people over a 22 year period. Extensive laboratory tests on mice as well, showed that oxygen starvation, caused by snoring promoted tumor growth.

Dr F Javier Nieto

Dr F Javier Nieto

Lead author Dr F. Javier Nieto, chairman of the Department of Population Health Sciences at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health said the following:

“The consistency of the evidence from the animal experiments and this new evidence in humans is highly compelling.”

“Ours is the first study to show an association between Sleep Disordered Breathing (SDB) and an elevated risk of cancer mortality in a population-based sample,” said Nieto, reports the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.

“If the relationship between SDB and cancer mortality is validated in further studies, the diagnosis and treatment of SDB in patients with cancer might be indicated to prolong survival,” added Nieto, according to the Daily Mail.

The study and its findings were presented at the American Thoracic Society international conference in San Francisco.

It was further explained, that whilst mild snorers have a reduced exposure and are considered to have a negligible risk of dying from cancer, in contrast, the risk doubled for moderate snorers and then shot up dramatically to nearly five times, in case of severe snoring like that experienced by people who suffer from Sleep Apnea.

Combating Sleep Apnea

Combating Sleep Apnea

Research in the past has shown that those people suffering with sleep apnea have an increased risk diabetes, heart attack, and stroke, but this new study found those who have sleep apnea are up five times more likely to die from cancer than those without.

It also determined those who were not obese were in fact more susceptible.

“This is just another bit of evidence that says not breathing is bad for your health,” said Dr. Eric Hernandez, who explained that the negative health effects are caused by oxygen levels in the blood.

People suffering from sleep apnea can stop breathing at multiple points through the night, sometimes for seconds or minutes at a time, and when this occurs, blood vessels begin to grow into tissues suffering from a lack of oxygen to help combat the disease.

“If your oxygen drops, that means more blood vessels grow and if blood vessels grow into tumors, tumors grow faster,” explained Hernandez.

Dr Nieto’s study was supported by the National Institutes of Health’s the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI), the National Institute on Aging, and the former National Center for Research Resources.

Dr. Susan B. Shurin, acting director of the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute commented on her interest in the findings:

“These findings provide clues to help further our understanding of the relationship between sleep and health … It will be important to understand the relationship and mechanisms, if the association is confirmed.”

Dr Ramon Farre

Dr Ramon Farre

Dr Nieto and his team at the University of Wisconsin-Madison completed their research in conjunction with Dr. Ramon Farré, professor of physiology at University of Barcelona in Spain, who also presented a separate but highly relevant study at the American Thoracic Society [ATS] conference.

Dr. Farre’s team demonstrated that intermittent hypoxia on cancer growth is considerably stronger in lean mice than in obese mice.

Approximately 28 million Americans have some form of sleep apnea, however it is though that many more cases go undiagnosed.

A couple of the many in depth articles on this study can be accessed if you Click Here  or Here. It is certainly worthwhile reading these entire articles. Some of the content is the same.

There are a couple of video’s you should watch in relation to this report. One video is from ABC News and includes a brief interview with Dr F. Javier Nieto. I cannot download it because it breaches copy write but if you click on this YouTube Link  it will take you there.

 This is the second one and it talks directly about this study carried out by Dr.F.Javier Nieto.

Dr. Cynthia Anderson, a Radiation Oncologist with Memorial Hospital talks about the report.



Will Snoring Prevention Devices Cure Sleep Apnea

At no time do I suggest any of these snoring prevention devices will cure Sleep Apnea.

Most devices are focused on relieving what is referred to as “Simple Snoring” problems. This is snoring generally caused by air flow restrictions in the throat.

Stop snoring mouthpieces like the very popular SnoreRx and ZQuiet do stop snoring. Detailed reviews of these two stop snoring devices are available if you click on the above links or images.

Click To Read The SnoreRx Review

Click To Read The SnoreRx Review

Click To Read The ZQuiet Review

Click To Read The ZQuiet Review

No one is disputing this fact, but it would be totally irresponsible of these manufactures to market their devices by promoting a cure for Sleep Apnea, and so they don’t.

People with Sleep Apnea do snore and they would most likely have been “Simple Snorers” in the beginning and have evolved.

Snoring and Sleep Apnea have things in common but they are NOT the same. I have no doubt that people with sleep apnea could use mouthpieces but they are not designed to cure it.

The study does link people who snore excessively with cancer. If you are a moderate to heavy snorer then it is fair to say you are at more risk.

There is certainly an argument to suggest if you can control snoring before it becomes worse, then you may be in a better position to defend against Sleep Apnea. This is my personal opinion, based on my research.

If you do suffer from Sleep Apnea [OSA] then you might be interested in a discussion that has taken place on the Apnea Board Product Reviews Forum where a gentleman who suffers for OSA is talking about his positive experiences with using the SnoreRx mouthpiece. He has used a CPAP machine and like many users, is not that fond of them by the sounds of it. It makes for interesting reading. I have completed a review of the SnoreRx mouthpiece on this website.

My Conclusions/Recommendations

The way we have viewed snoring in the past has now been turned on its head. Sure, the same problems are there but now we have to throw in the real risk of cancer.

“Mild snorers have a negligible risk of dying from cancer, but doubles in moderate cases and shoots up to nearly five times in case of severe snoring.”

If you have been looking for a reason to stop snoring, other than to have a good night sleep or to rejoin your partner in the same bed of a night, then this is it.

This study and its discoveries are not something they have guessed at over a weekend sleepover with six of their best friends. It is a 22 year long study with 1522 people.

Now is the time to do something about your snoring problem, not tomorrow.

Start off by reading the reviews I have completed on SnoreRx and ZQuiet.

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