Background Tumour hypoxia is known to be a poor prognostic indicator, predictive of increased risk of metastatic disease and reduced survival. Genomic instability has been proposed as one of the potential mechanisms for hypoxic tumour progression. Both of these features are commonly found in many cancer types, but their relationship and association with tumour progression has not been examined in the same model. Methods To address this issue, we determined the effects of 6 week in vivo acute hypoxic exposure on the levels of mutagenic lipid peroxidation product, malondialdehyde, and 8-oxo-7,8-dihydro-2'-deoxyguanosine DNA (8-oxo-dG) lesions in the transgenic polyomavirus middle T (PyMT) breast cancer mouse model. Results We observed significantly increased plasma lipid peroxidation and 8-oxo-dG lesion levels in the hypoxia-exposed mice. Consumption of malondialdehyde also induced a significant increase in the PyMT tumour DNA lesion levels, however, these increases did not translate into enhanced tumour progression. We further showed that the in vivo exposure to acute hypoxia induced accumulation of F4/80 positive tumour-associated macrophages (TAMs), demonstrating a relationship between hypoxia and macrophages in an experimental model. Conclusion These data suggest that although exposure to acute hypoxia causes an increase in 8-oxo-dG lesions and TAMs in the PyMT tumours, these increases do not translate into significant changes in tumour progression at the primary or metastatic levels in this strong viral oncogene-driven breast cancer model.