We have known for a long time thatsleep apneacan have more or less serious health consequences. But new studies seem to indicate that this breathing disorder increases the risk of cancer. What are the real risks? What types of cancers are observed? Should these results worry us? Here are some answers.
Sleep apnea is a breathing disorder that occurs during sleep. This consists of involuntary interruptions of breathing during the night causing a drop in blood oxygenation levels.
These interruptions are caused by the obstruction of the upper airways. This drop in oxygenation is often the cause of various cardiovascular diseases that can in some cases cause the death of the patient. In addition to causing a decrease in oxygen in the blood, people with sleep apnea are often very tired during the day, or even drowsy.
These symptoms in addition to being very paralyzing, increased the chances of a car or motorcycle accident. This fatigue is caused by hundreds of micro-awakenings occurring during interruptions of breathing which significantly alter the quality of sleep.
Over time and if sleep apnea is not treated, this fatigue can become chronic, and is likely to lead to depression. In addition, we have already known for several years that sleep apnea can cause pathologies linked to cognitive disorders such as Alzheimer's disease.
But recent studies show a link between sleep apnea and the appearance of cancer. Indeed, several scientific teams have studied the risks of cancer in patients suffering from obstructive sleep apnea hypopnea syndrome (OSAS). The results show that sleep apnea increases the risk of cancer.
It is therefore imperative to properly treat this sleep breathing disorder.
Why does sleep apnea increase the risk of cancer?
Several research teams around the world have studied in recent years the link between sleep apnea and the appearance of cancer.
Greek, Israeli, Spanish and American teams are working on it separately. They analyzed data from several thousand people with sleep apnea (almost 20,000 in some cases). Sleep apnea results in low oxygen levels in the blood. In addition, the patient's sleep is significantly disturbed because of micro-awakenings during breathing interruptions.
These two factors seem to play a major role in the appearance of various cancers. Researchers have shown that a chronic decrease in oxygen supply and sleep disturbances lasting for long periods of time are factors that promote tumor growth.
Studies have also shown that women are more vulnerable than men. Indeed, the results show that they are more likely than men to contract cancer as a result of sleep apnea.
Although sleep apnea appears to play a role in the onset of cancer, the rates are still quite low. On average between 1.5% and 3%. Therefore, if a link between sleep apnea and cancer is well attested, it should not be of undue concern to people suffering from sleep apnea. p>
The most detected cancers are prostate cancer in men and breast cancer in women.
These studies show how sleep apnea is a disorder with potentially severe consequences. It is therefore important to consult a doctor for treatment.
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