Mild snorers have a negligible risk of dying from cancer, but doubles in moderate cases and shoots up to nearly five times in case of severe snoring.
The findings were based on data from sleep studies carried out on 1,522 people over 22 years. Previous lab tests on mice have shown that oxygen starvation, caused by snoring promotes tumour growth.
Javier Nieto, who led the study at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health, said: "The consistency of the evidence from the animal experiments and this new evidence in humans is highly compelling."
"Ours is the first study to show an association between sleep disordered breathing (SDB) and an elevated risk of cancer mortality in a population-based sample," said Nieto, reports the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.
"If the relationship between SDB and cancer mortality is validated in further studies, the diagnosis and treatment of SDB in patients with cancer might be indicated to prolong survival," added Nieto, according to the Daily Mail.
The findings were presented at the American Thoracic Society international conference in San Francisco.