anti-snoring device, sleeping woman with CPAP machine on nose and mouth

Two studies have just linked sleep apnea to cancer. One study showed that the more severe the sleep apnea, the more likely a person will receive a diagnosis of cancer. In the other, people who already had cancer were more likely to die of it if they also had serious sleep apnea. Moderate sleep apnea doubled the risk of cancer death and severe sleep apnea nearly quintupled it. The studies did not investigate whether treating sleep apnea with CPAP reverses these risks.
[American Thoracic Society International Conference, in San Francisco, May 2012]

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  1. Helen M.

    The problem I have found with a lot of natural remedies for this and that is that short lived effect you mention. I believe it is because the body seeks homeostasis.
    Patty, have you been checked for fibromyalgia? Far more common than is realized, that may account for your sleep disturbances.
    As to the pills, if they work, use them. What I do is work with generic xanax and zolpidem, keeping usage down to no more than two or three nights a week and rotating the pills. This way, in spite of using xanax since my husband was diagnosed with ALS in 1989, and zolpidem since my fibro worsened about six or seven years ago, I have not built up a tolerance. The other nights? Sometimes I am so tired I sleep anyway, and sometimes I am lucky to get three hours of sleep that night.
    BTW, saw the doctor and he said to try a wedge under the mattress. Think I will.

  2. patty

    I have done all the study one can do to get a good nights sleep. Ever since cancer in 2003 with a double mastectomy I’ve had sleep problems. I’ve done the natural route, they all only work from a few days to a few weeks. I’ve been on Lunesta 1mg and generic for Ambien 5mg for 3 years they both work about the same with them as least I sleep and can function the next day.
    I also take thyroid meds. It’s all a crap shoot. Taking lunesta or ambien may shorten my life but so will not sleeping. I never had problems till I went through chemo and radiation. Now that I am 70 there seems to be no real help. Lots of trying this and that but nothing that works. Also did the relaxing they all recommend but it’s almost too much work to do each night and still not sleep. It’s like working for sleep. So if anyone has a different method I’d try it. I’d love to be off prescription meds but for right now there doesn’t seem to be an answer but the pills.

  3. RD

    I read study after study on the website. This article has no information on how many people were studied, and by whom, and over what period of time. There are so many studies shown on the news channels, and websites, that some become unreliable as information that truly can be trusted. Some I think are just scare tactics.

  4. Helen M.

    In the last ten years, I have had four cancers. All caught when they were small.
    Before that I was diagnosed with hypopnea, you might say pre-apnea. I found I could not use any of the masks, I have fibro and neuropathy and the masks killed my face, killing my sleep. I never made it thru the night without removing the mask while I was halfway out of it. I was always surprised by morning. I just gave up on the therapy. Now I am snoring, just as soon as I lay my head on the pillow, way before I fall asleep. In fact, it keeps me awake until I finally drop from exhaustion. I will wake up during the night (I have a lot of pain) and I am not snoring. So there is yet a position that helps.
    Weight loss is supposed to help, but the snoring started after I lost over 20 pounds. My loss is stalled no matter what I have tried, including semi-fasting two days a week. I have diabetes and use insulin. Today I will see my pcp and we will discuss the feasibility of another sleep study in light of the fact that I still won’t be able to use a mask. Bummer.

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