(NaturalHealth365) The use of hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) has been approved for over a dozen health conditions such as, carbon monoxide poisoning, gangrene and injuries in which tissues are not getting enough oxygen. But, could HBOT help cancer patients in the healing process?
What makes hyperbaric oxygen therapy so valuable?
Humans depend upon the consumption of oxygen all the time. Most atmospheric air is comprised of roughly 21% oxygen and, of course, oxygen is necessary for the production of cellular energy within the mitochondria of every cell. The use of pure 100% oxygen in a high pressure atmosphere (HBOT) has been shown to accelerate the healing process.
The hyperbaric chamber has pure oxygen administered at pressures 1.5 – 3 times the normal atmospheric pressure with treatment times ranging from 30-90 minutes. Administering oxygen at higher pressures causes up to 20 times more oxygen to be absorbed by the blood and transferred to injured organs and tissues. This speeds healing and recovery time in addition to other benefits.
Do I need a doctor to get HBOT?
Breathing in 100% (pure) oxygen under increased pressure, called HBOT, allows extra oxygen to be taken up by the bloodstream and dissolved at a far greater rate. This extra oxygen can help where healing is slowed down by infection or where blood supply is limited by damage to the tissues. But, 100% oxygen is considered a drug by the FDA and one needs a prescription to use it.
Mild hyperbaric therapy (mHBOT) has shown significant results and uses around 95% oxygen in a 1.3-1.4 atmospheric pressure. This is a much lower cost treatment that one could do on their own – without a medical prescription – and has little to no risk with great benefits.
These systems range in price from $5-$25,000 or you can get treatments that range between $50-$100 a session. HBOT that uses 100% oxygen and greater than 1.5 times the atmospheric pressure are around $200 a session.
What are the health benefits of HBOT?
• assists healing by raising tissue oxygen levels to normal in areas where they are reduced through illness or injury.
• encourages new blood vessels to grow and carry additional blood.
• increases the ability of the body’s defense mechanisms to fight infection and kill bacteria.
• helps reduce any swelling that may occur around the area.
Any condition which results in inflammation in the body can benefit from HBOT. HBOT increases the dosage of oxygen and delivers more O2 to damaged areas in the body and stimulates the healing process. Oxygen is one of the most natural antibiotics and it controls over 8,000 genes. By the way, did you know that 20 sessions of hyperbaric therapy increases our stem cells eightfold?
HBOT helps cancer patients with radiation exposure
HBOT is an acceptable complimentary treatment for cancer patients undergoing radiation treatment. HBOT has been shown to reduce inflammation in bones and adjacent tissues where radiotherapy creates an excess amount of reactive oxygen species. It also helps with the regeneration of blood vessels that are damaged by radiation.
A 2006 study, in Japan, involving patients with brain tumors receiving radiation and chemotherapy experienced much longer survival times and reduced side effects when using HBOT as a complimentary treatment. Another 2007 study showed extended survival times and reduced side effects using HBOT with radiation treatment in patients with glioma tumors.
The altered state of cancer cells
Famous cell biologist and cancer researcher Otto Warburg discovered that cancer cells have an altered metabolism and are unable to produce energy through cellular respiration. The mitochondria in each cell produce the energy that drives the cellular functions. Under normal circumstances, the majority of energy is derived in the presence of oxygen in a process called aerobic metabolism.
Cancer cells have lost this ability to produce energy through the Krebs Cycle and instead drive all of their energy from substrate level phosphorylation through glucose fermentation. Other researchers, like Dr. Thomas Seyfried, found that cancer cells run off of both glucose and amino acid (glutamine) fermentation. Both of these processes are anaerobic and don’t use oxygen.
New cancer research prompts questions and debate
A mouse study using the ketogenic diet alone significantly decreased blood glucose and slowed tumor progression. This increased the mean survival time by 56.7% in mice with systemic metastatic cancer. HBOT therapy with the ketogenic diet increased mean survival time by 77% and showed significant decreases in blood glucose, tumor growth rate and improved ketone body metabolism.
The world’s top researchers in ketogenic diet and HBOT agree that HBOT alone has no effect on cancer growth and progression. However, when it is combined with the ketogenic diet it has a significant complementary effect at inhibiting tumor growth and increasing survival time.
Editor’s Note: Recently, there’s been a lot of discussion – especially on the internet – about the ketogenic diet as a possible ‘cure’ for cancer. But, before jumping to any conclusions – I suggest you read a series of articles called: Ketogenic Diet and Cancer – written by Nicholas Gonzalez, M.D., who has been successfully treating cancer patients for over 25 years.
Many doctors rave about the value of HBOT
“I utilize hyperbaric therapy in all stages of cancer; upon detection, as well as pre and post-surgery, pre, post and during chemo and radiation. In fact, if chemotherapy is used in conjunction with mHBT, the chemotherapy dose must be reduced. The HBOT will potentate any primary cancer treatment. HBOT is the best cancer prevention and cancer remission therapy out there, bar none.” – Rhett L. Bergeron, MD
“By increasing the oxygen environment to the cancer cells, it makes them less virulent and in many instances destroys them.” – Pavel I. Yutsis, MD
“A ketogenic diet and HBOT produce significant anti-cancer effects when combined in a natural model of systemic metastatic cancer. Our evidence that these therapies should be investigated as potential non-toxic treatments or adjuvant therapies (complementary therapies).” – Thomas Seyfried, Ph.D.
“For the subset of patients who suffer from late effects of radiation exposure, hyperbaric oxygen therapy is often the only treatment than can prevent irreversible bone or tissue loss or enable them to undergo life-improving reconstructive procedures such as breast or facial surgeries. By offering this therapy, we are able to provide a better quality of life to patients who have already survived devastating illnesses.” – Susan Sprau, MD
What are the possible side effects or contraindication of HBOT?
During HBOT, patients may experience ear popping, mild sinus discomfort or claustrophobia. Other rare side effects include temporary short-sightedness (myopia) and pulmonary oxygen toxicity. Very rarely, oxygen toxicity induces seizures.
Most patients do not experience any symptoms immediately after HBOT and can return to work the day of treatment. Some patients, however, may experience temporary changes in vision when completing more than 20 HBOT sessions.
Contraindications for HBOT include high fever, untreated seizure disorder and untreated air or gas in the pleural space of the lung, which causes the lung to collapse (pneumothorax). Pregnancy is a relative contraindication to HBOT.
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About the author: Dr. David Jockers owns and operates Exodus Health Center in Kennesaw, Ga. He is a Maximized Living doctor. His expertise is in weight loss, customized nutrition & exercise, & structural corrective chiropractic care. For more information – visit: DrJockers.com. Dr. Jockers is also available for long distance phone consultations to help you beat disease and reach your health goals.
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