stack of stamped envelopes.

Mailbag! Is “Oxygen Therapy” Worth It?

I was reading about hyperbaric oxygen therapy for cancer and wondering, does it really work?

–Barb from Sandy, UT

****

Barb,

The answer to your question is, it depends.

Hyperbaric oxygen is a therapy where people are placed inside a sealed tank and then the pressure and oxygen inside the tank is increased. The idea behind this therapy is to increase the amount of oxygen in the bloodstream and throughout the body.

Using oxygen to fight cancer is thought to help solid cancers such as breast, pancreatic, brain, and liver cancers.

There are two reasons why higher oxygen is thought to be harmful to solid cancer cells.

The first is that some cancer cells thrive in low-oxygen environments, but there are plenty that don’t. In fact, many cancers are known to increase blood vessels through angiogenesis to deliver more oxygen and nutrients, helping the cancer survive.

The second reason hyperbaric oxygen could help treat cancer is that many cancers “band together” when they’re deprived of oxygen, making them resistant to standard treatments like chemotherapy and radiation. But if you flood cancer cells with oxygen, then they become weaker, allowing treatment to hopefully work better.

A 2012 study in the journal Targeted Oncology reviewed many studies on hyperbaric oxygen, and the researchers concluded that hyperbaric oxygen did work for a select group of cancers:

  • breast cancer,
  • brain,
  • and colon cancer.

Unfortunately, hyperbaric oxygen treatments were not effective for cervical and bladder cancers.

It’s always best to work with your cancer doctor before you try any new therapy.

P.S. Have a health concern that’s worrying you? Click here to submit your questions and get featured in the weekly mailbag!

 

SOURCES:

Chen, SY., Tsuneyama, K., Yen, MH. et al. Hyperbaric oxygen suppressed tumor progression through the improvement of tumor hypoxia and induction of tumor apoptosis in A549-cell-transferred lung cancer. Sci Rep 11, 12033 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-021-91454-2

Moen, I., & Stuhr, L. E. (2012). Hyperbaric oxygen therapy and cancer–a review. Targeted oncology, 7(4), 233–242. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11523-012-0233-x

Dr. Scott Olson, ND

Written By Dr. Scott Olson, ND

Nearly 25 years ago, failed mainstream medical treatments left Dr. Olson in constant pain – and his health in ruins. And that’s when he did something REVOLUTIONARY. He began his career in medicine – and dedicated his life to uncovering the true, underlying causes of disease.
Through his innovative medical practices in Tennessee and Colorado, Dr. Olson has helped cure countless seniors from across America of arthritis… heart disease… diabetes… and even cancer. All without risky prescription drugs or painful surgeries.

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