This nighttime sound signals cancer danger

One way to detect your risk of dying from cancer is to set up a tape recorder in your bedroom and record what you sound like when you sleep. The playback could say a lot about your cancer future.

Although cartoons and comedians often make fun of snoring noises, they’re no laughing matter. If you snore, toss and turn and have trouble getting restful, deep sleep, your risk of dying from cancer could be seriously increased.

A study at the University of Washington in Seattle shows that women who have been treated for breast cancer who frequently snore and have poor sleep run a significantly larger chance of succumbing to their cancer than do deep sleepers.

Part of the problem may be the way interrupted sleep affects your body’s production of proteins that regulate your sleep and protect you against cancer.

A protein with the strange name of “human period 2” is involved in both keeping your daily cycles of sleep in step with the rise and fall of the sun as well as defending the body against tumors. When you get poor sleep, human period 2 can’t function correctly. That lets tumors start or grow bigger when cells become cancerous and divide uncontrollably.

  1. “When (human period 2 protein) is non-functional because it is either mutated or somehow modified, then it is unable to do its job and prevent the cells from dividing at certain times of the day,” says researcher Tetsuya Gotoh. “This is particularly a problem in cases where tumor suppressor genes are mutated as it happens in more than 80 percent of all cancer cases.”
  2. So if you have a problem with snoring or sleep apnea (a condition that interrupts your breathing and sleep during the night), consult a knowledgeable healthcare provider for help.

Weight loss often helps to relieve apnea. The more overweight you are, the more likely it is that losing weight can help.

Consider eliminating foods that may be allergens and interfere with sleep.

There are also anti-apnea exercises you can do that Dr. Michael Cutler details here.


Carl Lowe

By Carl Lowe

has written about health, fitness and nutrition for a wide range of publications including Prevention Magazine, Self Magazine and Time-Life Books. The author of more than a dozen books, he has been gluten-free since 2007.