Healthy Living

Untreated Sleep Apnea as a Determining Factor for Aggressive Melanoma

Untreated Sleep Apnea as a Determining Factor for Aggressive Melanoma

Sleeping has always been helpful for the body’s restorative functions. Consequently, not getting enough sleep may result in several health issues or worsen the already poor conditions. The benefits of having quality sleep include a lower risk for obesity, an improved ability to learn, a lower risk for depression, a better athletic performance, and an improved immune system.

The right amount of sleep is also known to alleviate the danger of various types of conditions, including heart diseases and mental health issues. That’s why inquiries about the subject matter have long been examined. As the number of sleep-related studies continues to grow, more and more possible connections are found. One study has even pointed to the aggressive development of melanoma, a serious form of skin cancer that affects a large majority in the United States.

Understanding Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA)

During sleep, one may experience interruptions in breathing and wake up several times. This condition is known as sleep apnea. It is a serious sleep disorder where breathing stops repeatedly, causing a poor oxygen supplication to the brain, lungs, and the rest of the body. This then results in a poor quality of sleep and several other complications.

Sleep apnea has two major types: Obstructive Sleep Apnea and Central Sleep Apnea. Obstructive Sleep Apnea or OSA is caused by a blockage in the airway that prevents oxygen circulation in the body. The latter, CSA, is more of a condition in the central nervous system wherein the brain fails to send a signal that the muscles need to breathe. While both are equally serious conditions, OSA is the more common form of sleep apnea.

The blockage in Obstructive Sleep Apnea can be caused by allergies in the nasal tissues, swollen tonsils, excess fat in the neck for those who are overweight, and several others. Those who have this condition may still suffer from sleeplessness even when they get 7-9 hours of sleep. Because they wake up several times, it is harder for them to concentrate, remember, and be 100% productive throughout the day.

The condition conclusively affects the overall well-being of an individual. Other than the health-related issues that may spring, they are also prone to accidents on the road as they tend to become sleepy and lack the needed energy. The American Lung Association revealed that 10%-30% of adults are now suffering from OSA. Thus, serious efforts to fight the condition are more crucial than ever.

Melanoma: The most serious skin cancer

To understand the possible connection of sleep apnea to melanoma, it is absolutely necessary to comprehend the nature of the skin condition. Melanoma is often dubbed as the most serious type of skin cancer. It is called so mainly because it is more likely to metastasize (spread) beyond the skin than the other types. This means it can affect the inner parts of the body too, which may eventually lead to a number of complications.

People who have lighter skin are more prone to melanoma than those with dark skin. Female and middle-aged individuals tend to be victimized more often as well. Whoever the victim is, the cancer cells can spread in many parts of his/her skin (chest, back, legs, arms, neck, and face). Examining the condition starts with a simple check of the skin, which is afterward confirmed through a biopsy sample.