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Cancer - Oncology

Cancer Recovery

Cancer remains strongly the nation's number two cause of death in men and women and billions of dollars spent worldwide on cancer research has proven that cancer does not like oxygen. Malignant cells prefer low oxygen (hypoxic) environments in which they are extremely aggressive, adaptable and prone to mutations. Conventional therapies such as radiation and chemotherapy are only one third effective in low oxygen conditions and hypoxia is considered major cause for failure of radiotherapy.

Oxygen therapy reduces the cancer growth and increases chances of survival.

Decades of solid research show that tissue oxygenation reduces the cancer growth and increase chances of survival. Increased tissue oxygenation (hyperoxia), such as during hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBO), effectively weakens the tumor as well as strengthens the healthy tissues. Hyperoxia causes a shift in cancerous hypoxic tissue by collapsing blood vessels inside the tumor, while increasing the number of blood vessels (angiogenesis) to the healthy tissues.

Additional oxygen weakens the tumor, making the conventional therapy more successful while preserving the healthy tissuel.

Conventional cancer treatments such as surgery chemotherapy and radiotherapy are usually combined with hyperbaric oxygen therapy to improve their success as well as prevent the complications such as post-radiation wounds, infections, lymphedema etc. In general additional oxygen weakens the tumor, making the conventional therapy more successful while preserving the healthy tissue.

Oxygenation also stimulates the immune system in fight against cancer.

Hyperbaric oxygen therapy stimulates the body production of chemical messengers called cytokines.  These cytokines are secreted by immune cells and act on other cells to coordinate appropriate immune responses.  One cytokine in particular, IL-2 has an anti-tumor effect.  It can activate macrophages, neutrophils and tumor necrosis factor helping our body fight cancer.

Thanks to the research of leading oncologists and hyperbaric physician such as Prof. Robert Marx (Sweden) and Prof. John Feldmeier (Ohio, USA) hyperbaric oxygen has been used  for more than three decades as a prophylactic – preventive care – in cancer patients. Gathered scientific and clinical evidence shows that hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) increases oxygenation and vascularization of the cancerous tissue thus improving the radio sensitivity and chemo sensitivity. Dr. Marx has proven that radiation damage can be corrected with hyperbaric oxygen while reducing fibrosis or scar tissue formation.

Hyperbaric oxygen therapy of delayed radiation tissue injury and prophylaxis are accepted by Undersea Hyperbaric Medical Society and as such should have medical insurance coverage.

In 2005, Dr. Stephen Thom (Pennsylvania, USA) showed that hyperbaric oxygen increases the production and mobilization of stem cells. Namely, one 90-minute hyperbaric oxygen session in oxygen flow chambers doubles the number of stem cells in the blood and 20 sessions increase the number to eight fold (Original Article Thom 2005 H1378.pdf). These fantastic discoveries are extremely important in harvesting stem cells in cancer patients, since hyperbaric oxygen has shown stem cell growth also in radiated tissue.

Read anecdotal evidence from multiple myeloma patient

Hyperbaric oxygen therapy is understandably the “best kept secret” by pharmaceutical industry and finding a physician to refer you to hyperbaric center may not be easy.
When evaluating hyperbaric oxygen therapy options, it remains imperative to emphasize on individualized treatment plans based on scientifically established effective protocols.  This requires a careful examination of a patient’s medical status by a hyperbaric specialist and continuous supervision of the progress as well as communication with a primary health care provider; oncologist or family physician. Also the microcirculation assessment , as an objective parameter of progress is an essential tool in justifying the need and end point of the hyperbaric oxygen therapy.

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MEDICAL DIRECTORY  / 
Otto Warburg, Nobel Prize Laureate 

"All normal cells have an absolute requirement for oxygen, but cancer cells can live without oxygen - a rule without exception. Deprive a cell 35% of its oxygen for 48 hours and it may become cancerous." 

Otto Warburg, German physiologist receiving Nobel Prize in Medicine in 1931 for his discovery that the root cause of cancer is oxygen deficiency, and proving that cancer cells are anaerobic (do not breathe oxygen) and cannot survive in the presence of high levels of oxygen.

Proudly serving Metro Vancouver and British Columbians with hyperbaric oxygen services and wound care since 1999

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 Information contained on this site is intended for general consumer understanding and education. It should not be used as a substitute for any medical professional opinion, advice or prescribed medication nor should it serve as diagnosis or treatment of health problems.