hyperbaric oxygen therapy

Oxygen is one of the most valuable elements in the human body. Insufficiency of oxygen causes numerous health problems. For example, Hypoxia is a health condition where blood cells in the human body starve for oxygen. This critical condition often results in lung cancer.

Around 25% of death is caused by cancer in the United States. Scientists consider oxygen a very helpful element in the process of cancer treatment. You may question why people are suffering from cancer when oxygen is abundant in the environment. It is because the oxygen you breathe is not enough for your body sometimes. There are several conditions that hinder oxygen flow in the bloodstream.

Therefore, hyperbaric chambers are manufactured to provide people with much more oxygen than they usually breathe. At present, many have benefited from Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (HBOT) and recovered from their injuries faster. Several clinical trials show that HBOT can be effective in reducing the expansion of cancer cells or cancerous tumors.

In this article, you’ll learn to know everything about HBOT and its role in cancer treatment. Let’s dive in!

What is Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy?

Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy is a process of supplying enough oxygen to the human body. The therapy is processed inside a chamber called a hyperbaric oxygen chamber. These chambers are categorized into two types: monoplace and multiplace. Monoplace is built for a single person whereas more than one can go into a multiplace chamber.

The air you breathe naturally consists of 21% oxygen. Additionally, dust and toxic gasses are combined with the air. An individual can breathe 100% of pure oxygen during HBOT therapy. Inside a hyperbaric chamber, the air pressure level is 1.5 to 3 times higher than natural air.

Is Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy Helpful for Cancer Patients?

Doctors use hyperbaric therapy to treat a variety of diseases. At present, many health professionals believe that HBOT can be a helpful therapy in treating cancer patients.

A cancer patient, Bryan Mugione, recently expressed in an interview how hyperbaric oxygen therapy has improved his health. He said “I felt rejuvenated myself. I had more energy.”

Andrea Tomczak, a certified hyperbaric nurse and wound specialist, says that most cancer patients require 30 to 40 sessions of HBOT therapy to enliven their cell tissues and receive long-lasting results. According to her, several studies have shown an increased oxygen level in the body even after three years of undergoing this therapy.

Hyperbaric Therapy for Treating Cancer

The cells in your body continuously develop, die, and regrow. Sometimes, this orderly process gets hindered, and damaged cells are produced. These damaged cells continue to spread more and form a tumor, which is a lump of tissues.

Tumors that are not cancerous, are called benign tumors. This kind of tumor usually consists of normal cells which grow up quite slowly. Cancerous tumors are called malignant tumors, which are made up of damaged or infectious cells. They can spread to other parts of the body and damage the surrounding tissues. Malignant tumors usually grow and spread faster throughout the body.

When the tumor cells get bigger, their center parts start moving away from the blood vessels. Therefore, the area receives less oxygen and less nutrients. The motif of hyperbaric oxygen therapy is to flood those starving cells with oxygen. The therapy in pressurized chambers forces unaltered oxygen into the bloodstream.

HBOT triggers the development of new blood vessels. Tomczak has stated that since there is a higher atmospheric pressure inside a hyperbaric chamber, the entire bloodstream can carry 100% oxygen. Hence, it fills the tissues, which could be unsalvageable due to the disruption of oxygen flow. Also, it strengthens the white blood cells to kill bad bacteria and prevent infections.

In 2015, scientists proclaimed that flooding tumors with oxygen can help some treatments work better. According to many health experts, supplying more oxygen to the cancerous tumor cells is a simple solution as the root of the problem is oxygen insufficiency.

The Bottom Line

Hyperbaric oxygen therapy has been proven effective in improving multiple health conditions. Besides its efficacy in cancer treatment, the therapy is significant for healing any kind of mild injury faster. The number of therapy sessions depends on the type and severity of the health condition.

HBOT does not have any severe side effects, but one must consult a physician before undergoing this therapy. This awareness is especially applicable to people who have recently experienced any kind of lung injury or ear surgery. However, researchers are still studying HBOT to explore if it can treat cancer and other side effects of cancer surgery.