The lives of many cancer patients have been saved by radiation treatment, but the tumor-killing radiation can also damage healthy tissue. When blood vessels are damaged, restricted bloodflow can lead to wounds in soft tissue and bone. These injuries can occur months or even years after the radiation treatments were completed.
What Is Delayed Radiation Injury?
Acute injuries, like burns, skin changes, and hair loss, occur during radiation treatment itself. These acute injuries may eventually heal and disappear, but the effects of radiation continue to affect your body indefinitely. Most patients eventually develop delayed radiation injuries, also known as chronic injuries, months or years after their treatments conclude.
These delayed radiation injuries are often invisible. You might look normal from the outside, but inside you’re coping with urinary issues, cracked teeth, broken bones, and more. Without proper treatment, chronic radiation symptoms don’t get better with time — they can actually get worse.
Delayed radiation injury (radionecrosis) most commonly occurs in tumor treatment sites in the head, neck, breast, chest and pelvis. Ulcers caused by radionecrosis (necrosis means “death of tissue”) do not heal well without expert wound care. Hyperbaric oxygen therapy is usually indicated for delayed radiation injury.
Hyberbaric Oxygen Therapy for Delayed Radiation Injury
Hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) makes it possible to minimize and even reverse your radiation symptoms. It uses powerful 100% oxygen at pressures above regular atmospheric pressure to stream oxygen through your bloodstream.
The pressure of HBOT drives oxygen not just into the bloodstream, but also into lymph tissue, bone tissue, red blood cells, and other critical locations. Since oxygen is critical for all healing functions, HBOT can reduce cell death, relieve pain, stimulate new growth of blood vessels, and boost circulation.
As a result, tissues damaged by radiation or suffering from nutrient deficiencies can quickly become revitalized and enhanced. The oxygenation that occurs during HBOT promotes cellular growth that combats the harmful effects of radiation therapy and helps you recover more efficiently.
We administer the latest hyperbaric technology in a comfortable, private setting. Treatment takes place in a clear acrylic chamber where you comfortably recline and view your surroundings at all times. Our experienced treatment team monitors you throughout the procedure.