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Radiation Treatment for Cancer
#1
I was recently diagnosed with OSA and I'm using CPAP therapy. My AHI levels are good, under 1.0 and are usually around 0.5. I'm on my 3rd mask AirFit N20, and I like it a lot as long as I wear it with CPAP pads wrapped around frame and upper straps.

The N20 is comfortable but my sleep patterns are horrible. I may get 4-5 hours of use out of the ResMed Sense 10 machine. I don't sleep 7 hours straight like I use to a few years ago.

It also aggravates me that I need to put on the mask and lay there for one or two hours waiting to nod off to sleep just so I can get more hours of use recorded on the machine to please insurance carrier.

I'm overweight and don't sleep well. I don't sleep long hours straight through, however, I do get plenty of sleep napping at all hours. But I'm not tired in my waking hours since using CPAP. I only take Aleve for the pain in my rectal area, right hip, and sometimes bone aches. This pain was brought on by radiation treatment for anal cancer. I honestly believe the radiation and bone aches is what has messed with my sleep, thereby giving sleep apnea related issues.

In Dec 2016 I was 3-years NED from cancer. Has anybody here experienced cancer treatment therapy that interfered with their sleep patterns and brought on a diagnosis of OSA?
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#2
Hi cbokay,
WELCOME! to the forum.!
Hang in there for answers to your questions and I wish you good luck with your CPAP therapy.
trish6hundred
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#3
Welcome. I am not a doctor. It seems very unlikely to me that rectal cancer or its treatment caused the sleep apnea. If you gained weight during this time, that may have been a triggering cause.

The pain would have disrupted your sleep patterns, no question there, but poor sleep does not cause you to not be able to breath. On the other hand, not being able to breath can cause poor sleep. My view is that the cause does not matter. You have sleep apnea now and CPAP is the treatment.

Interrupted sleep can be caused by several things. Pain is but one of them. OSA can be another. It was well over six months on CPAP before I started sleeping through the night and that still does not happen all the time. You probably don't want to hear this, but napping is probably not helping your ability to stay asleep at night. I doubt that going to bed before you are tired just to get in compliance hours is not helping either.

I will suggest that you look into "Sleep Hygiene" and also sleep compression therapy. Those may help you get the good sleeps that you need.

Sleep-well
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#4
Welcome to the forum and congratulations on beating cancer. I have been NED with lung cancer for 12 years. My sleeping habits didn't change any after the extensive radiation and chemotherapy I received, although my sleep structure was affected during treatment. My apnea existed long before my cancer diagnosis. I was diagnosed with apnea only a year ago.

While it is possible for the treatments to mess up your sleep structure during treatment, I don't think sleep apnea could be caused by rectal cancer. Like chill, I believe improving your sleep hygiene could improve your sleep quality.

Sleep well.
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#5
Thank you for the welcome, Trish.
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#6
Why is so difficult to reply to more than one message in this thread? It says I have to wait 274 seconds. (sigh) To all of you who replied, I will take what you've all said into mind. I've done a little research on the possibilities of radiation treatment for cancer causing or leading to Sleep Apnea, and everything I have read is negative. There are way too many variables to look at, and the research simply isn't there. But I believe with everything in my being, there is a correlation. And my hunches (theories) are usually right on.

I know I need to get a handle of my messed up sleep patterns. I'm working on it. Right now it is 1:25 PM and I'm ready to lay down because I am tired, and with good reason. I've been awake since 12:20 AM. This is what cancer treatment did to me. The bone/joint aches from the radiation had me up and down, taking pain pills in the beginning. Then I went to Aleve only. Then I get diagnosed with OSA, and ... and, hello disruptive sleep patterns. It's not in my head, Folks. It's real. And I'm not out of the woods yet with cancer. I'm 3-years NED and have two more years left out of five to see where I stand.
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