Do you have longterm side effects from your prior radiation treatment? Hyperbaric oxygen therapy “HBOT” (breathing 100% oxygen while inside a pressurized chamber) may be a very effective treatment for radiation damaged tissues.
Who Might Benefit from HBOT?
Radiation can cause fibrosis, necrosis and chronic inflammation in tissues within the treated body sites. This can lead to numerous side effects:
—skin thickening and tightness
—decreased range of motion
—chronic bladder or rectal inflammation, bleeding, urgency or frequency in urination or bowel movements
—necrosis or exposed bone
—delayed wound healing
If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, ask your radiation oncologist if a referral to a center that can evaluate you for hyperbaric oxygen therapy might be helpful in your situation.
How Does HBOT Work?
HBOT pressurizes 100% oxygen, leading to increased tissue oxygenation. 100’s of studies demonstrate that a course (20-40 sessions or “dives”) of HBOT can regrow bone and tissue in damaged areas of the body.
Tissue oxygenation encourages new blood vessels to grow and carry extra blood and nutrients to the damaged tissues, increases the ability of white blood cells to kill bacteria and prevent infection and reduces swelling, pressure and pain.
Is HBOT a Treatment For Cancer?
While the data for the effectiveness of HBOT as a radiation sensitizer is very promising, there are significantly higher risks of side effects. At this time, it remains a non-standard therapy for treatment.
FDA Warning: HBOT is Not a Cancer Cure
Do Soft HBOT Chambers Work?
The data for effectiveness of HBOT is limited to hard HBOT chambers, the only ones that use 100% oxygen and pressurize to above 1.3 atmospheres (usually: 2.5-3 atmospheres)
—Soft chambers only pressurize room air (21% oxygen) to 1.3 atmospheres.
Risks of HBOT:
Hyperbaric oxygen therapy is generally a safe procedure. Complications are rare. But this treatment does carry some risk. Potential risks include:
—Temporary nearsightedness (myopia) caused by temporary eye lens changes
—Middle ear injuries, including leaking fluid and eardrum rupture, due to increased air pressure
—Lung collapse caused by air pressure changes (barotrauma)
—Seizures as a result of too much oxygen (oxygen toxicity) in your central nervous system