Sleep apnea is a chronic sleep disorder in which a person stops breathing multiple times during sleep. And, its severity may be a predictor of the aggressiveness of malignant skin melanoma, or skin cancer, according to a study performed in Spain.
A link between sleep apnea and mortality, as well between sleep apnea and the incident rate of cancer have been established by previous studies. The decrease in oxygen levels in the blood caused from sleep apnea has also been shown to significantly increase tumor growth.
The study included 56 patients diagnosed with malignant skin melanomas. The aggressiveness of the cancer, and the presence and severity of each patient’s sleep apnea was measured by researchers.
It was established that 60.7% of the patients had sleep apnea, with 14.3% of the patients having severe sleep apnea. Melanoma was found to be more aggressive as the severity of sleep apnea increased. Sleep apnea severity was also linked to the growth rate and depth of invasion of the tumor.
This study’s findings are significant as they are the first to show the connection between the sleep apnea and the worsening of melanoma in a human sample. By treating sleep apnea, there is a possibility that cancer treatments may be more effective and open up more therapeutic possibilities for patients. A larger study is now underway with 450 patients with cutaneous melanoma to further cement the results.
The impact that sleep has on our lives is incredible. Sleep 7-9 hours every night to decrease health risks, feel better, and look better! Everyone deserves their best night of sleep every night, including you!