Can sleep apnea be cured and is there a simpler method of measuring your progress other than going through the sleep apnea exam? Since I am a cancer survivor, could sleep apnea play a part in re-occurance of cancer?
For most patient's sleep apnea can be successfully treated but not cured. There is a surgical procedure called mandibular advancement which can cure the disease is some patients, but requires a 4-8 hour procedure and a prolonged recovery. Positive airway pressure or CPAP is the preferred and most effective treatment for sleep apnea. At this time, a sleep test or polysomnography, where we measure sleep and abnormalities of breathing during sleep is really the only way to really know if you have the disease and how severe it is.
Your last question is fascinating. We really don't know the answer to this. We know good quality sleep is important for health and there are numerous studies which show that short sleep times and poor quality sleep are detrimental. Sleep apnea certainly can complicate recovery from cancer and worsen quality of life in cancer surviors, but there are no studies showing that if left untreated, sleep apnea leads to re-occurrence of cancer.