Could Sleep Apnea Predict Risk for Skin Cancer?

Healthcare Training Resource
September 11, 2013 — 1,145 views  
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If you thought lack of sleep will only show up in the form of drowsiness and tiredness for a day, you may be wrong. Loss of sleep has much more to do than just that. If problems like sleepless nights, poor concentration, slow reflexes and day time sleepiness sound familiar to you, you may be under the grip of sleep apnea.

A common sleeping disorder, sleep apnea, is said to affect more than 20 million people in America. This information has been provided by the American Sleep Apnea Association. According to its study, around eight percent of the cases of sleep apnea - both severe and moderate, put the patients at a higher risk of developing other major diseases. Most commonly experienced health problems faced by people suffering from obstructive sleep apnea are chronic heart failure, high blood pressure, and some other cardiovascular problems.

Relationship Between Sleep Apnea and Cancer

Sleep apnea is also said to be linked with cancer. People suffering from this sleeping disorder do not get sufficient amount of oxygen in their blood. The amount of air flow that is required to travel from their nose and mouth fails to reach their lungs. This leads to a reduction in the level of oxygen in their blood. This is one of the most common characteristics of sleep apnea and plays a vital role in the progression and formation of cancerous tumors. According to a recent study, the severity of sleep apnea can predict the danger of skin melanoma.

Latest study presented at European Respiratory Society Annual Congress revealed the link between sleep apnea and skin cancer in humans. Some of the previous studies had examined the connection between cancer incidence rate as well as mortality rate with sleep apnea. But this latest study is one of the first to focus on the link between skin melanoma, and sleep apnea. The study took into consideration the severity and presence of sleep apnea along with the aggressiveness of skin melanoma. The study revealed that an increase in the severity of this sleeping disorder led to an increase in the severity of skin melanoma.

Recognizing Sleep Apnea

Obstructive sleep apnea is the most commonly recognized sleeping disorder which is followed by central sleep apnea. In this second kind of sleep apnea, the brain of the patient is unable to send the right signals to body muscles that look after the controlled breathing system. In spite of being a common sleeping disorder, sleep apnea goes unrecognized in most cases.

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