National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month

March is National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month. As part of our ongoing series with the healing power of Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy we want to go over a little about National Colorectal Cancer.

Early cases can begin as noncancerous polyps. These often have no symptoms but can be detected by screening. For this reason, doctors recommend screenings for those at high risk or over the age of 50.

Colorectal cancer symptoms depend on the size and location of the cancer. Some commonly experienced symptoms include changes in bowel habits, changes in stool consistency, blood in the stool, and abdominal discomfort.

Colorectal cancer treatment depends on the size, location, and how far the cancer has spread. Common treatments include surgery to remove the cancer, chemotherapy, and radiation therapy.

As always, while only Medical Doctors can diagnose and treat Cancer, we highly recommend viewing the video series “The Truth About Cancer” available here and we love Dr. Coneally’s book The Cancer Revolution.

So, how does Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy fit in with Cancer and Cancer Treatments?

Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy can help patients with injuries that occurred following radiation therapy.

Radiation therapy has improved tremendously. It targets tumors more accurately and minimizes damage to the surrounding tissue. However, even with those advancements, the normal tissue surrounding the tumor may be impacted, which may cause new symptoms. It is important to note:

  • Injuries from radiation are not usually identified by the radiation oncologist because they may occur months and even years after radiation therapy.
  • Damaged tissue breaks down over time. Healing the damaged tissue requires a safe and effective medical intervention.

Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy is the only modality to target and repair damaged tissue caused by radiation treatment.

Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy is recognized by the FDA for a number of medical conditions, all of which are generally covered by insurance. Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy is FDA approved for latent or internal radiation injuries and has been successful with many patients experiencing symptoms following radiation treatment.

There are several types of latent radiation injury, which include:

  • Radiation Cystitis or Prostitis (Bladder Cancer or Prostate Cancer): Some patients complain of urinary frequency, pain, burning or bleeding.
  • Bowel Problems or Bleeding after Colon Cancer and Radiation: Diarrhea, urgency, incontinence, and rectal bleeding are common symptoms.

A 2013 study titled “Hyperbaric Oxygen Treatment in Radiation-Induced Cystitis and Proctitis: A Prospective Cohort Study on Patient-Perceived Quality of Recovery,” concluded that Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy can be an effective and safe treatment modality for late radiation therapy-induced soft tissue injuries in the pelvic region. According to the study, symptoms were alleviated in 76% of patients with radiation cystitis, 89% of patients with radiation proctitis, and 88% of patients with combined cystitis and proctitis. The improvement was sustained at follow-up in both domains 6 to 12 months after receiving Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy. No severe side effects related to Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy were observed, according to the study.

How does HBOT work?

There are numerous processes the body undergoes in order to heal injuries, such as stem cell production, gene expression, white blood cell enhancement, new capillary (blood vessel) growth.

Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy supports these healing processes and the immune system as it works to ward off challenges to the body’s health.

Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy drives oxygen further into the body’s tissue which promotes healing. Oxygen is transported into the red blood cell and saturates the plasma of the blood, which delivers 10 to 14 times the amount of oxygen to the tissues.

Hyperbaric Oxygen provides the body with the oxygen nutrients that are required to promote healing and recovery.

To find out more about how hyperbaric oxygen can help you or a loved one heal after radiation, or if you have any questions, please fill out a contact form to your right – or call us at the number above.

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