Poor Sleep Increases Colon Cancer Risk

We usually relate a lack of a good night’s sleep to daytime sleepiness, fatigue, low energy and concentration, as well as possible headaches and other side effects. However, in most cases, losing sleep a few night’s out of the month is nothing to worry or fret over, as it’s usually a temporary problem that resolves on its own. That said, when poor sleep quality or quantity becomes a routine occurrence, it could lead to an increased risk of developing certain types of cancers. After thorough research, studies have found that poor sleep – commonly due to sleep apnea – can cause stroke, obesity, diabetes, heart disease, and now, colon cancer.

Researchers at the Hospitals (UH) Case Medical Center and Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine have determined that people who average no more than six hours of sleep each night are at a 50 percent higher risk of suffering from colorectal adenomas when compared to others who slept for at least seven hours nightly. Though being diagnosed with colorectal adenomas doesn’t automatically mean a patient will also be diagnosed with colon cancer, adenomas are a known precursor to cancerous tumors and growths.

The study, which was conducted on 1,240 patients, determined that 338 of the original subjects were diagnosed with colorectal adenomas. All those diagnosed with adenomas reported sleeping for less than six hours a night. Though a lack of sleep can be caused by all sorts of factors, sleep apnea is a known cause of sleep cycle disturbances.

Sleep apnea is a treatable condition, and with the right course of treatment, your risk of certain health problems will decrease. To learn more about sleep apnea and the treatments that are available to you, call or email Dr. Siegel’s office to schedule a sleep apnea consultation.