Several recent studies show that there may be a link between sleep apnea and cancer. Although these studies show a connection between cancer and sleep apnea, researchers say this in no way proves that sleep apnea is a cause of cancer. Results of two studies reveal the details.
One study, conducted in Spain, examined over 1,000 sleep clinic patients. It found that people who suffered from the severest types of sleep apnea had a 65% higher chance of developing cancer. The second study, which was completed in Wisconsin, examined 1,500 government workers. Participants of this study who had trouble breathing at night were five times more likely to die from cancer than those participants who had no signs or symptoms of sleep apnea.
Studies conducted on animal subjects have also shown that lack of oxygen causes tumors to grow faster. This is the same premise that these studies stand on, predicting that major dips in oxygen levels while asleep cause greater risk for cancer onset and growth.