Can Sleep Apnea Cause Skin Cancer?

I’ve alluded to the possibility of cancer development from chronic hypoxia that’s seen with obstructive sleep apnea. Here’s one study that supports my hypothesis: Researchers in Spain injected melanoma cells into mice and subjected one group to intermittent hypoxia and the other group to normal oxygen levels. At the end of 14 days, the tumor weight in the hypoxia group was almost two times that of the normal oxygen group.

Remember that chronic physiologic stress that results from hypoxia leads to lowered blood flow, metabolites and resources to unessential body parts and organs. The skin is considered unessential. There are tons of research in the cancer literature showing how hypoxia is a major player in cancer development. Other organs that are commonly affected by cancer are your reproductive and digestive organs: colon, prostate, breast, uterus, and ovaries.

This connection isn’t surprising, given the fact that hypoxia has been shown to cause amyloid plaques and neurofibrillary tangles in mice brains. If the Spanish researchers tested brain tissues as well, they probably would find similar pathology.

How many of you with obstructive sleep apnea also have skin cancer?

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