If you or a loved one suffer from sleep apnea, you know the frustration of fatigue and snoring as well as the worry that comes from having dangerous pauses in breathing during the night. However, studies have also shown that those with sleep apnea are also at a higher risk for cancer.
If you have sleep apnea around Little Rock, make an appointment with a Central Dental sleep medicine doctor today – we only use FDA certified medically approved oral repositioning devices to help manage sleep apnea. The device mechanically advances the lower jaw allowing the airway to be propped open letting air flow much more freely. Only a certified dental professional can fabricate these devices.
Up to 28 million Americans suffer from varying degrees of sleep apnea, and this is the first time the disorder has been linked to increased cancer risk in humans. The two studies followed several thousand patients each. One study, conducted by researchers from the Spanish Sleep Network, found that those with severe sleep apnea were 65% more likely to develop cancer, while the other, which was run by the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and public health, studied roughly 1,500 Wisconsin government workers and found that for serious sleep apnea sufferers it was five times more likely for their cancer to be fatal.
So why can sleep apnea increase the risk for developing cancer? One theory is that sleep apnea, and specifically lack of restful and productive sleep, can lead to greater blood acidity. Unfortunately cancer has been shown to thrive in acid-rich blood, so restful sleep is incredibly important for defending against cancer as well as promoting many other health benefits. Lack of deep sleep also affects the release of hormones through the pituitary, including hormones that regulate appetite and metabolic processes. If you suffer from chronic sleep interruption, it can have a profound impact on overall health and put you at greater risk for several major chronic diseases.
Sleep apnea has been linked strongly to cardiovascular disease for some time now, but the cancer link has been discovered only recently. As the body fights for air during sleep, it experiences a lack of oxygen that can disrupt normal bodily functions. The first study measured the number of times when oxygen in the blood dropped below 90%, or the hypoxemia index, and found that those who suffered from hypoxemia most often during a given night were also the most likely to receive a cancer diagnosis.
Not breathing during your sleep is a serious medical problem that is being shown constantly to have profoundly negative impacts on your long-term medical health. If you suffer from sleep apnea, don’t take the risk. Give the TMJ and Sleep Center at Central Dental a call and set up an appointment to see Dr. Dalton today – we have offices in Little Rock, Jacksonville and Conway so if you live anywhere around Central Arkansas we have a convenient location for you.