Radiation Injury and Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy
Cancer cells are the most sensitive cells in the body to radiation therapy, hence its use to treat cancer. However, it can have significant side effects on healthy tissue in up to 20 percent of irradiated patients, including injury to the bladder, rectum, vaginal tissue, skin and exposed bone in the mandible.
Symptoms range from blood in the urine or feces, urgency to go to the bathroom, pain, exposed bone to the jaw (osteoradionecrosis) or skin wounds that do not heal. The damage is a result of radiation injury to the cells lining the blood vessels that supply oxygen and nutrition to these structures. Unfortunately, time will not repair this damage. In fact, these symptoms only get worse with time and can appear years after radiation exposure.
Fortunately, hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) will repair this damage even years after the radiation. HBOT is the only treatment that repairs the damage, and it is covered by insurance. HBOT stimulates the body’s production of stem cells eight-fold. The stem cells go to any cell in the body that is signaling a need for repair. It also stimulates new blood vessels to grow into the tissue that is not getting sufficient oxygen, allowing the tissue to repair itself. The best results are obtained when HBOT is initiated as soon as possible after symptoms appear.
Dr. Roger Hunter is the owner of Nirvana Hyperbaric Institute, located at 146 Medical Park Rd., Ste. 110, in Mooresville. For more information or a free consultation, call 704-471-4100 or visit www.NirvanaHBO.com.
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