The link between sleep apnea and cancer

A recent study shows that women who suffer from severe sleep apnea may be at greater risk of cancer.

Sleep apnea is a serious condition and can lead to a range of other health issues. Now, a study shows that there may be a connection between sleep apnea and cancer, particularly in women. Read on to find out more about the findings of the research…

What did the research find?

The study, which was published in the European Respiratory Journal, looked at 20,000 adult patients who had been diagnosed with obstructive sleep apnea and found that around two percent of the patients had also been diagnosed with some form of cancer.

Although the researchers noted a connection between advanced age and an increased risk of cancer, they found that there was also a possible link between sleep apnea and the prevalence of cancer in the patients. According to the researchers, the connection between obstructive sleep apnea and cancer was stronger in women than in men.

What can we do about it?

Although more research is required about the connection between cancer and sleep apnea, it is important to remember that there is a strong link between airway conditions and overall wellness. For this reason, we encourage all our patients to stay informed about the signs and symptoms of sleep apnea and to seek treatment as soon as possible if they are concerned.

Some of the most common symptoms of the condition include:

  • Sleepiness during the day
  • Loud snoring
  • Waking up with a sore throat or dry mouth
  • Regular episodes in which breathing stops during sleep
  • Waking up abruptly regularly during the night
  • Waking up gasping or choking
  • Headaches, especially upon waking in the morning
  • High blood pressure
  • Night sweats
  • Difficulty focusing throughout the day
  • Mood problems, such as irritability or depression

How do I know if I have obstructive sleep apnea?

If you are concerned that you might be suffering from an airway disorder, we recommend that you come in and see us for a consultation. In order to diagnose the severity of your sleep apnea, we will perform an overnight sleep study. During this study, we can evaluate exactly what your body is doing at night. Typically, an overnight sleep study will include:

  • Electroencephalogram
  • Electrooculogram
  • Electromyogram
  • Electrocardiogram
  • Right and left leg EMG
  • Nasal/oral airflow
  • Thoracic respiratory effort
  • Abdominal respiratory effort
  • Snoring
  • SaO2
  • Heart rate
  • Video monitoring

By performing an overnight study, we will be able to measure the severity of your sleep disorder by using the Respiratory Disturbance Index (RDI). RDI represents how many times per hour breathing stops or becomes very shallow and will indicate how disrupted your sleep is. Once we have completed the study, we will be able to recommend the best course of treatment for your needs.

What are the treatment options?

At Elite Dental of Staten Island, we offer a number of treatments for sleep apnea. These include sleep position training, which includes the use of devices like the snore-ball and snore relief cushions; weight reduction in the case of obese patients; lifestyle changes like smoking cessation and a reduction in alcohol consumption; oral appliance therapy; and continuous positive air pressure (CPAP).

The course of treatment that we recommend for you will depend on your particular case, and the best starting point is to come in for a consultation.

To arrange a consultation, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us. Our team includes experts in the field, and we look forward to helping you improve your overall health. We provide full diagnosis and treatment of the highest standards and use only the latest technology and procedures in the industry.


In honor of Children's Dental Health Month, we're hosting an exciting event about myofunctional therapy, and how your child's breathing could affect their health for the rest of their life. This event will take place at our office on Monday February 26 from 4.30pm
Thanks to environmental changes, children are now being born, and growing up to adulthood with malformed airways and jaws.
Get more information about myofunctional therapy
for your child
Learn how you can help your child!
Check your inbox for an email from us!
Thanks to environmental changes, children are now being born, and growing up to adulthood with malformed airways and jaws.
Get more information about myofunctional therapy
for your child
Learn how you can help your child!
Check your inbox for an email from us!