Turns out, sleep apnea or simply a sleep disorder in which breathing repeatedly stops and starts, can lead to the growth of lung cancer growth in young individuals.
A scientific study, conducted with animal models at the University of Barcelona, stated, "the younger, the more vulnerable to cancer's aggressiveness."
The obstructive sleep apnea syndrome is a chronic disease which affects about the 10 per cent of the adult population worldwide. During these last years, researchers have shown interest in the study of the potential relationship between the obstructive sleep apnea syndrome and its immediate consequence, intermittent hypoxia, with the appearance of tumours. The new study represents a scientific advance within the research line of the potential effects of obstructive sleep apnea in cancer.
This new study has been conducted on young mice -equivalent ages to those in teenagers- and old mice -corresponding to people aged over 65- and shows how the lack of oxygen during sleep (hypoxia) speeds up tumour growth in the youngest ones only.
The research team related the results to a differential immune response to intermittent hypoxia in tumour-associated macrophages and regulatory lymphocytes