Sleep Apnea Is Linked To Cancer

A Scary But Totally Accurate Statement – You Better Believe It

For many years we have had an understanding that there are a number of serious issues associated with snoring. Now we are told, sleeping disorders like Sleep Apnea has now been linked directly with Cancer.

If you have come to this page directly then I would encourage you to visit my Help Stop Snoring website Home page for a full introduction to the site after you have read this article.

On May 20th, 2012 the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health, released a long awaited study revealing evidence, people who are suffering from OSA [Obstructive Sleep Apnea] certainly appear to develop a significant increased risk of cancer mortality.

Studies over previous years successfully linked Sleep Disordered Breathing (SDB) problems to hypertension, cardiovascular disease, depression, and early death, however this is the very first to link it to cancer.

These amazing findings are actually based on detailed data obtained from repetitive sleep studies performed on 1,522 patients over 22 years. In addition, extensive laboratory tests on [our little friends] mice, showed regular oxygen starvation, due to snoring actually promoted cancerous tumor growth.

Dr F Javier Nieto

Dr F Javier Nieto

The teams lead author Dr F. Javier Nieto, of the Department of Population Health Sciences located within the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health made the following comments:

“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.

This detailed and lengthy study and its discoveries were unveiled at the American Thoracic Society, 2012 international conference held in San Francisco.

It was accompanied with a further explanation, directed at mild snorers. Whilst they actually enjoyed a somewhat reduced overall exposure and as a result were considered to have a somewhat negligible risk of dying from cancer, in direct contrast, this risk actually doubled for those moderate snorers and then increased significantly to almost five times, in case of those people who suffered from severe snoring like those experiencing Sleep Apnea [OSA].

Combating Sleep Apnea

Combating Sleep Apnea

It was acknowledged that previous research had shown, those people suffering from sleep apnea do certainly suffer from a noticeable increased risk of diabetes, heart attack, plus stroke. Devastatingly, the recent study found those people who suffer with sleep apnea are amazingly up to and including five times more likely to actually die from cancer, than those who do not have OSA.

Interestingly they also determined those people who were indeed not obese are 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.

It is well known that people suffering from sleep apnea indeed stop breathing at multiple intervals throughout the night, and sometimes for many seconds and even minutes at a time. When this happens, blood vessels can begin to develop into tissues acutely suffering from a loss of oxygen which is needed to combat disease.

“If your oxygen drops, it 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 undertook this comprehensive research in association with Dr. Ramon Farré, the current professor of physiology at the University of Barcelona in Spain. He too presented an entirely separate but extremely relevant study during the 2012 American Thoracic Society [ATS] conference.

Importantly Dr. Farre’s research team demonstrated that intermittent hypoxia on cancer growth is significantly stronger in leaner mice than in mice that are obese.

We know that approximately 28 million Americans suffer from some form level of OSA, however it is believed many more cases of sleep apnea go undiagnosed.

I have included some direct links to more information from the original articles. Click Here or Here to access them. I would certainly recommend you read them. Some content is duplicated.

I would recommend two video’s you could view in relation to this study. The first video is from ABC News and is a brief interview with Dr F. Javier Nieto. I am prevented from downloading it due to copy write but if you click on this YouTube Link you can view.

This is the additional video and it is in relation to the study undertaken by Dr.F.Javier Nieto.

Dr. Cynthia Anderson, a Radiation Oncologist with Memorial Hospital discussed the study.



Will Stop Snoring Devices Cure Sleep Apnea

No, they will not because Sleep Apnea is more than snoring. Sleep Apnea is about breathing issues as well as snoring.

Most anti snoring devices will focus on addressing “Simple Snoring” issues. This “Simple Snoring” condition, which is what most of us suffer from, is normally caused by air flow restrictions within the throat.

Anti snoring mouthpieces like SnoreRx and ZQuiet are successful at controlling snoring. I have completed extensive reviews of both these two stop snoring devices and they are accessible via the above links or images below.

Click To Read The SnoreRx Review

Click To Read The SnoreRx Review

Click To Read The ZQuiet Review

Click To Read The ZQuiet Review

Manufacturers do know that people with Sleep Apnea can successfully control their snoring problem by using one of the many mouthpieces, but they would be very irresponsible if they marketed their devices as being a cure or treatment for Sleep Apnea. The reason they don’t is because they know that snoring alone is not sleep apnea.

It is well known people with Sleep Apnea do snore and that prior to being diagnosed as suffering from OSA, they may very well have been “Simple Snorers”.

Snoring and Sleep Apnea certainly share things in common but clearly they are NOT exactly the same. There is no doubt in my mind that people with sleep apnea could use mouthpieces to help stop snoring but they are not designed to cure OSA.

None the less the study certainly does prove a link with excessive snoring and cancer. If you suffer from moderate to heavy snoring then you are going to be more at risk.

I am a believer that if you can control your snoring before it becomes worse then there certainly is an argument you could be better placed to defend against Sleep Apnea and possible Cancer issues. Let me be clear however. This is only my personal opinion, based on my own research.

If you do have Sleep Apnea, you might actually be interested in this forum discussion that took place on the Apnea Board Product Reviews Forum. A gentleman who suffers for sleep apnea was talking about a positive experience of his using a SnoreRx mouthpiece. He has always used a normal CPAP machine but wasn’t that fond of it from what I could ascertain and so he tried an alternative. It’s an interesting read.


My Conclusions/Recommendations

It would be fair to say that we can view snoring somewhat differently these day, certainly more so after this report. The same problems we knew about before are still relevant but now we have something even more threatening to consider.

“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 are concerned about your snoring and needed something to really kick start some activity in terms of trying to control it, then this might be the tipping point for you.

This discovery is not something they came up with overnight with a handful of patients. It’s a 22 year long study with 1522 people.


If you are still not convinced then you had better read this article on Snoring Linked To Heart Disease And Stroke. Another study released at the end of 2012 and completed in the USA over 6 years.

Act On Your Snoring Problem Now Not Tomorrow, Because Tomorrow May Never Come.

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