Can the Hyperbaric Chamber Counter the Growth of Cancerous Tumors?
Cancer is a serious health condition that is known to significantly affect the mortality rate in humans and any negligence or delay whilst adopting the requisite treatment can have life-threatening repercussions.
Medical researchers are engaged in the relentless quest to find treatment solutions that can considerably reduce the impact of this disease. Studies conducted by qualified experts over the last few years have provided scientific evidence about the efficacy of Hyperbaric Chamber Therapy to counter the growth of cancerous tumors.
What is a Hyperbaric Chamber Therapy?
Hyperbaric Chamber Therapy or Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy has been used by physicians since centuries to provide relief for various disorders ranging from decompression sickness in divers, gas embolism, toxic poisoning, brain abscesses, radiation injuries, burns, carbon monoxide poisoning, and many such health afflictions.
During hyperbaric oxygen therapy, the patient is placed in a pressurized compartment known as the hyperbaric chamber and is thereafter administered pure oxygen at enhanced pressure that is two to five times greater than normal atmospheric pressure.
This heightened pressure helps the unadulterated oxygen to dissolve into the body fluids and reach the affected parts of the body that are oxygen deprived, thereby accelerating the healing process.
Can Hyperbaric Chamber Therapy Counter Cancer?
There are certain inter-linking factors that are known to accelerate the growth of cancerous tumors in patients such as:
How effective is Hyperbaric Chamber Therapy for Hypoxia?
Hypoxia is a health affliction that can lead to the formation of solid tumors due to reduced oxygen levels in or around the afflicted area. Prolonged hypoxia is believed to cause a rapid proliferation of cancer cells resulting in decreased oxygen tension in hypoxic patients.
This condition encourages multiple cellular adaptations and aids in the progression of cancer in an individual.
During hyperbaric chamber therapy, the enhanced levels of pressurized oxygen instantly dissolve into the plasma, thereby ensuring that it reaches the affected area in an instant.
The inherent wound healing capabilities of oxygen are believed to aid in building a strong resistance to infections, epithelization, the proliferation of fibroblasts and increased collagen deposition. All these factors are known to effectively curb the spread of cancer cells to a significant extent.
Currently, hyperbaric chamber therapy is being considered as a safe alternative treatment solution for treating malignant tumors alongside the conventional treatment methods.
Hyperbaric Chamber Therapy for Countering Angiogenesis:
Recent experimental studies have indicated that hyperbaric chamber therapy has been effectively used to induce antiangiogenic properties into two cancer models and one glioma model. Numerous other studies have also shown limited enhancements in the angiogenesis levels in cancer patients post their hyperbaric oxygen therapy sessions.
Can Hyperbaric Chamber Therapy Curb Metastasis?
Metastasis forms due to tumor cell invasion in the blood or lymph vessels. Researchers have indicated that hyperbaric oxygen therapy does possess the ability to induce a mesenchymal-to-epithelial transition (MET) in DMBA –induced mammary tumors. This process is believed to significantly curb the malignancy of the tumors to a great extent.
In the last decade, medical research teams have unraveled varied healing aspects of hyperbaric chamber therapy during the treatment of several types of cancer.
Hyperbaric Chamber Therapy for Breast Cancer:
There have been reported instances wherein hyperbaric oxygen therapy has displayed potent antiproliferative aspects during clinical trials on mammary cancer cell tissues. These observations were recorded during the experimental trials conducted on animal models over the years.
Currently, several leading specialists are of the opinion that hyperbaric chamber therapy can be recommended to patients ailing from breast cancer as an effective secondary treatment solution.
Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy for Head and Neck Cancer:
In recent times, medical professionals are combining hyperbaric chamber therapy with radiotherapy as they are of the opinion that this unified process can curb tumors from recurring as well as control the severity, thereby reducing the mortality rates in cancer patients.
Experiments involving mice with head and neck carcinoma have revealed that hyperbaric oxygen therapy reduces the hypoxia levels substantially without inducing angiogenesis.
Hyperbaric Chamber Therapy for Colorectal Cancer:
The combination of hyperbaric chamber therapy with SMA-pirarubicin is known to reduce the tumor size by decreasing liver metastases in patients with colorectal cancer. Enhanced levels of necrosis have been observed during clinical trials.
Hyperbaric Chamber Therapy for Leukaemia:
Cancer of the bone marrow or blood is known as leukemia. A sudden surge in the production of immature white blood cells occurs in patients ailing with leukemia.
Hyperbaric oxygen therapy encourages a process known as apoptosis in leukemia cells and therefore can be adopted as an adjunctive treatment solution in future years.
The combination of hyperbaric oxygen therapy with various other cancer treatments such as chemotherapy, photodynamic therapy, and radiation therapy is often considered to be highly effective as most of these procedures rely on oxygen for healing. Hyperbaric oxygen is commonly known as a chemosensitizing or radiosensitizing agent precisely for this reason.
Patients who undergoing these complex chemotherapy or radiation therapy sessions tend to face injuries and hyperbaric oxygen therapy helps the cancer patients in wound recovery and also instills a sense of well-being.
Currently, specialists are propagating the use of hyperbaric chamber therapy as a viable secondary treatment solution that can be adapted in tandem with other primary healing methods to effectively counter the growth of cancerous tumors.