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Sleep Apnea and cancer. How many have both?

Helen321's picture
Helen321
Posts: 1393
Joined: May 2012

There are unsubstanitated connections between sleep apnea and cancer, research still going on.  Debates rage.  I have noticed a few people on here have said they have it.  Out of curiousity, how many have sleep apnea?  I am one.  

John23's picture
John23
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In Massachusetts we had a local contractor that suffered sleep apnea. He was on pain meds for a bad back…

When my wife was prescribed pain meds for a problem she was having, she was soon diagnosed with sleep apnea. Rather than take more meds for “sleep apnea”, she requested different pain meds. It took a few changes of meds before the symptoms of “sleep apnea” disappeared.

We’ve had friends and neighbors since then, that were diagnosed with sleep apnea. The individuals that got off the pain meds (and other medications) also were relieved of the sleep apnea condition.

There are side effects of medications that they do not tell you about. You have to be your own advocate and your own protector. If you develop a condition you never had before, look back to when the condition began. You may find a solution that no physician can explain.

Be well. Take care of yourself!

 

John

Helen321's picture
Helen321
Posts: 1393
Joined: May 2012

That's interesting.  I gained 30 lbs so I figured it was an easy diagnosis but perhaps not.  I was "skinny" my whole life and only put the weight on in the last few years. Will discuss with the doctor.  Right now I do absolutely nothing about the sleep apnea but do lose sleep when I suddenly gag.

JanJan63's picture
JanJan63
Posts: 2482
Joined: Sep 2014

I don't and have never had sleep apnea. I wonder if it just makes it harder for the body to fight cancer when it starts.

ron50's picture
ron50
Posts: 1721
Joined: Nov 2001

  Cpap every night. When i am in normal sleep the apnea is only moderate . when I go into rem sleep my oxygen levls dropped below 80%.  I used to wake up gasping in panic and getting nowhere. It took several minutes to build my blood oxygen levels. I have had tests (on a spirometer) to gauge my lung capacity. It is around 85 %. Not being able to get enough oxygen scares the crap out of me. Ron.

Helen321's picture
Helen321
Posts: 1393
Joined: May 2012

Yeah I often wake up gasping for air but it just wakes me up, then I can breathe once I sit up.  Also noticed that I my legs are restless although I haven't sought a diagnosis for that.  My limbs jolt while I'm sleeping.  Haven't done anything about it yet.  So many other things to deal with, it's on my list.

Trubrit's picture
Trubrit
Posts: 4891
Joined: Jan 2013

I believe I had sleep apnea when I weighed my heaviest. I'd wake myself up with that 'pop' you make, when you've been holding your breath. 

I don't think I have it now, but I am a very shallow breather. Sometimes I barely breath, and have to make myself. When I was in hospital, hooked up to that horrible machine that measures your blood oxygen, it went off all the time. In the end, I had to tell the Doctor to disconnect it, as I was not getting any sleep, and the nurses were fed up running to my room every time it alarmed. 

Anyway, back to the sleep apnea. I've never been on meds, and know that mine was due to excess weight. 

Sue - Trubrit

beaumontdave's picture
beaumontdave
Posts: 1003
Joined: Aug 2013

I had it before cancer, but changed my eating after the first surgery, and dropped from 235 to 195. The only issue now is I don't sleep more then 3-4 hours at a time, but my family is like that, so I figure it's our normal.....................Dave

jen2012
Posts: 1607
Joined: Aug 2012

I have apnea, not cancer.  Got the official diagnosis last April, took me a good 3 months to get used the the cpap and now I can't really sleep without it.  I gained too much weight in the last couple years and I think it's from that and probably stress.   My doctor told me that many times you lose weight, feel more rested and your bp is lowered once using a cpap.  I have not found that to be the case for me.   Would have been a nice perk!  I've probably had it for years as I've been told I snore and stop breathing, but didn't really do anything about it until I kept waking up gasping.   That was kind of scary.   

ron50's picture
ron50
Posts: 1721
Joined: Nov 2001

              In Australia if you are diagnosed with apnea and it is not treated you are considered at heightened risk of falling asleep at the wheel whilst driving and they will take your driving license off you. My only option was to buy an expensive cpap and use it every night. I have not woken up with breathing problems since I started using it over twelve months ago. Ron. 

lp1964's picture
lp1964
Posts: 1238
Joined: Jun 2013

I have severe sleep apnea which means that I stop breathing 30 times or more an hour. I tried Cpap but did not work for me, made me sleep worse. I'm a dentist and I made myself a mouthpiece which works great by opening up the airways. 

Sleep apnea is linked to many degenerative diseases including cancer. It affects us two ways. Lowers the oxygen level in the body and doesn't let your brain rest. During the night is when our body regenerates and gets rid of the mental and chemical trash. If this clean up disturbed constantly it cannot restore itself and we are not ready for the next day. This can go on for decades. You don't have to be overweight, but extra weight makes it worse. Sleep apnea has almost everything to do with your throat anatomy but alcohol, medicatioins can make it worse.

To diagnose sleep apnea you have to ask your doctor for a sleep test. Mild and moderate cases can be treated with a mouthpiece that your dentist can make for you. Severe cases need Cpap machine. 

Laz

Sharronoffaith's picture
Sharronoffaith
Posts: 76
Joined: Nov 2015

hey Laz,

your post really sums up one of the causes of sleep apnea.  I have a small mouth (some may disagree-lol) and I find my lower jaw sits back quite a bit.  I have been told I snore quite loudly sometimes.  But, I am considering the following as opposed to having a forced oxygen machine.  The machine may be necessary in extreme cases, but usually weight loss can also bring great improvement.  As it was written here, there are many side effects to any treatment, and cpap machine is not the golden egg it is proported to be.  I do acknowledge that it is probably necessary in extreme cases though.  A friend of mine, she is morbidly obese, and she has the cpap machine.  Well, one day she said she went to the eye doctor, and he asked if she had sleep apnea, and he said he could tell by the vessels.  I think that is a little creepy, and wonder what effect the forced oxygen can have over time.  But, I think there can't be that solid a link to cancers as there are so many folks with sleep disorders.  That said, it probably doesn't help!

My less invasive solutions:

a mouthpiece specific for sleep apnea, very expensive, but there are some do it yourself models (If only we were all dentists,..sigh)

Lose weight, I could lose some pounds, and even a small reduction is said to bring improvement

i sleep with a humidifier in the room.  If you are a "mouth breather" you will find a very dry throat in the morning. Also, the humidifier is great for keeping moisture in the air, and I fins that bronchial colds are much easier overcome. 

exercises for your throat. Mayo clinic and others have some that I am going to try to tighten those loose muscles

Play the didgeridoo.  An inexpensive instrument that is supposed to strenghten thr throat muscles.  And, I am definitely getting one of these as it has the bonus effect of annoying the neighbors.  When they play their music, I can now play along!

 

many days of joy, and blessings to all,

sharon 

 

 

fedester
Posts: 757
Joined: Jul 2004

I have sleep apnea and require a c-pap when sleeping.

LindaK.
Posts: 490
Joined: Apr 2013

My husband had very severe apnea, diagnosed in 2002.  He used CPAP with great results, even when he took a nap he used it.  He was diagnosed with colon cancer in December 2012.  I carted that machine back and forth to the hospital many times.  Besides hating every NG tube because of its discomfort, he also could not use his CPAP whenever he had one.  The minute they'd take it out, he'd be calling me to bring up his CPAP.  I was also diagnosed and tried CPAP for 3 weeks.  I am a light sleeper and move around alot.  I felt like I had the flu for those 3 weeks.  I could not get used to it and no meds were offered.  I know he felt great after he started using CPAP, getting good replenishing sleep and I didn't have to listen to the snoring!

Linda

jen2012
Posts: 1607
Joined: Aug 2012

Linda, I'm a light sleeper too and would rip the stupid mask off every night in annoyance.  The air would leak into my eyes, or it would just be uncomfortable.  Took 3 months to get used too and that happened at Disney.  I think I was so exhausted from walking all day I just passed out at night.  Now I can't sleep comfortably with it.  Maybe talk to your dentist and try th mouthpiece like laz. 

LindaK.
Posts: 490
Joined: Apr 2013

I just happen to be going to the dentist in 1 hour.  I have a permanent bridge they want to put the permanent glue on.  It hasn't been right since he put the permanent device on with temp glue, it's been giving me trouble so I want that fixed now, especially since I paid so much money and it's been almost 1 year since my tooth cracked.  I will ask him today about a device for apnea, probably cost another fortune. 

Thanks for the advice.

Linda

lp1964's picture
lp1964
Posts: 1238
Joined: Jun 2013

Sleep apnea oral appliance works by moving the lower jaw forward and opening the airway. I could not get used to the mask either so made myself a mouthpiece which works great. Severe sleep apnea patients need to try the cpap first and if doesn't work they can get a mouthpiece. It usually cost $2000-2500 and PPO medical insurance and Medicare pays for it.

Laz

 

LindaK.
Posts: 490
Joined: Apr 2013

Thanks for the info Laz.  I have barely finished paying for the bridge I had to have.  My insurance would probably only pay 1/2 and I can't even afford that right now.  I did try CPAP several years ago.  I'm sure I would have to start over again with the sleep studies, etc.   I hate having those impressions taken too, seems like there should be an easier way with all the modern technology we now have.  Last one I had I was gagging and coughing and trying to pull the darn thing out of my mouth.  The Dental Asst. grabbed my hands which made it more traumatic!

CallMeNED's picture
CallMeNED
Posts: 1
Joined: Jan 2016

apnea diagnosed about 8 years ago. CPAP every night. stage IV 9/11/14. NED since 9/23/14. yes, I'm fat.

Trubrit's picture
Trubrit
Posts: 4891
Joined: Jan 2013

I'm glad to hear that you are NED, and may it last forever. 

I don't think you're alone in the fat department. I've been 'trying' to lose weight for years. Darn food! I love it so much. Too much. 

Sue - Trubrit

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