A diagnosis of cancer can be terrifying due to its life-threatening prospects, ranked by the CDC as the second leading cause of death in the USA. Yet cancer is not always a death sentence. In fact, according to the American Cancer Society, the death rate from cancer has dramatically fallen over the past three decades, dropping by 32% from 1991 to 2019. The Society attributes the decline in cancer deaths to early detection and prevention, combination treatment protocols, and the post-surgical use of chemotherapy for breast and colon cancer.
Meanwhile, researchers continue to look for new solutions to stop the spread of cancer and reverse it. One promising treatment is hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT). Learn more about cancer and how HBOT can help stop its progression and reduce damage from chemotherapy and other cancer treatments.
What Exactly is Cancer?
Your body continually generates new cells and eliminates dead cells throughout your lifespan, although the turnover rate slows as you age. Healthy human cells multiply by cell division — a process called mitosis — keeping pace with the death and elimination of old and damaged cells.
But sometimes, instead of dying and being eliminated, damaged or abnormal cells grow and multiply at an accelerated pace, forming lumps of cells called tumors. Cancerous tumors sometimes travel to distant places in the body and form new tumors — a process called metastasis.
Cancer cells differ from normal cells in multiple ways:
- Cell division is highly regulated and orchestrated by a series of chemical processes. Cancer cells grow and spread despite chemical signals that tell them when to grow or die.
- Normal cells do not spread throughout the body — they remain in the area of mitosis and do not invade other cells.
- Cancer cells cause blood vessels to grow, to supply cancerous tumors with oxygen and nutrients, and remove waste products.
- Cancer cells override the immune system. Instead of eliminating cancer cells, the immune cells protect tumors.
- Cancer cells alter their chromosomes, deleting some and duplicating others. Some cancer cells have double the normal number of chromosomes.
- Cancer cells use nutrients differently from normal cells to produce energy, causing them to grow faster.
What Causes Cancer?
Despite mounds of research, there is still a great deal scientists do not understand about the causes of cancer. Damage to cellular DNA from exposure to environmental toxins is thought to be a chief driver of cancer. Cells with damaged DNA are normally eliminated from the body before they become cancerous, but in some cases they run amok, dividing uncontrollable and spreading into nearby tissues.
Considering that we are constantly bombarded by toxins in our food, air and water, and through cleaning products, cosmetics and pharmaceutical drugs, it is no wonder that cancer affects such a huge sector of the population.
Does Oxygen Kill Cancer?
For decades it was thought that excess oxygen would contribute to cancer progression, since tumors are typically hypoxic (low in oxygen). It was also thought that treating cancer survivors with hyperbaric oxygen could lead to cancer recurrence. However, recent research has debunked those fears.
New evidence suggests that the hypoxic nature of cancer cells makes them resistant to conventional radiation therapy, including chemotherapy, radiotherapy, and photodynamic therapy. Treatment with hyperbaric oxygen actually inhibits tumor growth in cancer patients and enhances the effectiveness of radiation therapies.
Today, targeting tumor hypoxia is considered an important approach to cancer treatment. Combining hyperbaric oxygen therapy and chemotherapy or other forms of radiation therapy may help to stop the spread of tumors and destroy cancer cells. In addition, hyperbaric oxygen therapy can help mitigate the side effects of chemotherapy and radiation therapy.
Which Types of Cancer can Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy Help Cure?
While researchers have ascertained that hyperbaric oxygen neither encourages cancer growth nor causes its recurrence after treatment, there is little research available on the efficacy of hyperbaric oxygen to treat specific cancer types.
What we do know is that hyperbaric oxygen enhances the effectiveness of chemotherapy and radiation treatments. In that respect, we can assume that hyperbaric oxygen is effective for any cancers being treated by radiation therapy.
Get Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy for Cancer, Health and Beauty in NYC
A diagnosis of cancer can be scary, and cancer treatments can be brutal, damaging both healthy and diseased cells. Depending on your oncologist, you may or may not receive hyperbaric oxygen as part of your cancer treatment protocol. Thankfully, the FDA has approved hyperbaric oxygen therapy as a safe and effective treatment for most people, without a prescription.
Hyperbaric oxygen therapy is just one of many services we offer at InVita Wellness to promote health, beauty and longevity. Whether you’re a new cancer patient, a cancer survivor, or you just want to enjoy the benefits of our hyperbaric oxygen chamber, contact InVita Wellness today, and give your cells the oxygen they crave for improved health and wellness.
Schedule an Appointment Today