Breast Cancer Awareness Month


By Eugena Brooks

October means fall is here and Halloween will soon be here and most important it is time for us to refresh our detection and prevention for #BreastCancerAwarenessMonth. Other than skin cancer, breast cancer is the most common cancer among American women. Yet, while most common for women breast cancer is a significant concern for men too. Studies have shown there is a link between sleep apnea and cancer and several theories pertaining to the link have come out of these studies.

One study being the two conditions have common risk factors such as age and obesity. Another study revolves around intermittent hypoxia. This is when the body does not get enough oxygen. Oxygen desaturation and sleep fragmentation commonly occur with OSA. Plus, this could involve changes in the development of blood vessels, immune function, and the tissue environment of tumors. More recent studies have found that the link between OSA and cancer is stronger for females.

Doing self-examinations and getting checked if you find something odd is your best course of action. Signs and symptoms of breast cancer may include:

  1. A breast lump or thickening that feels different from the surrounding tissue
  2. Change in the size, shape or appearance of a breast
  3. Changes to the skin over the breast, such as dimpling
  4. A newly inverted nipple
  5. Peeling, scaling, crusting or flaking of the pigmented area of skin surrounding the nipple (areola) or breast skin
  6. Redness or pitting of the skin over your breast, like the skin of an orange

Mammograms can detect breast cancer early increasing success of recovery by catching it before it can spread. So, do your self-examinations regularly. If you find something see a physician right away and always get your yearly check-up in case, you may have missed something along the way. For more information on sleep apnea and cancer try the links below.

University of Gothenburg. (2019, August 15). More cancer cases among women with sleep apnea. ScienceDaily.