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Oxygen Therapy as a Treatment for Cancer

written by: Vikas Vij • edited by: lrohner • updated: 2/28/2011

Oxygen therapy for cancer may be considered as an alternative treatment option. Supporters of this therapy strongly believe in the therapeutic effects of oxygen against malignant cells in the blood.

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    Role of Oxygen in Cancer Treatment

    Oxygen therapy for cancer involves release of extra doses of oxygen into the patient’s body with an aim to improve the body’s ability to fight cancer-causing cells. The supporters of this therapy believe that oxygen has the potential to destroy malignant cells if it is supplied to the blood stream in sufficient volume. Oxygen therapy makes use of ozone gas and hydrogen peroxide. Ozone is a chemically active oxygen compound that may be mixed with air or liquid in order to introduce it into the patient’s body. Oxygen therapy is slightly different from HBO, which is hyperbaric oxygen released under pressure.

    The effectiveness of oxygen as a cancer-fighting agent has not been scientifically proved. However, various practitioners of alternative cancer treatments support this option. They operate on the presumption that cancer cells proliferate in low-oxygen environment, and extra doses of oxygen can cause their death. It is also believed that extra oxygen helps to boost the body’s immune system, provides extra energy and promotes the production of antioxidants. However, it is clear that an alternative therapy such as oxygen therapy must be performed scientifically in order to protect the patient against the side effects if the oxygen is supplied in excess.

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    How is Ozone Therapy Administered?

    This therapy may involve introduction of ozone gas into the body by mixing it with air or some liquid. The ozone-carrying substance may be released into the body through the vagina, rectum or another opening in the body. It may also be administered by injecting it directly into a muscle or underneath the skin.

    One of the ways to deliver ozone gas into the body is the auto-hemotherapy. In this case, the therapist pumps ozone gas into a pint of blood from the patient’s body with the help of special machinery. The oxygenated blood is then released back into the patient’s body. This therapy may be followed by the administration of hydrogen peroxide in order to heal any wounds that may be caused in the course of the treatment. There is no established standard regarding the number of dosages of ozone gas. The treatment sessions may last from a few weeks to few months, with varying frequency of sessions per week.

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    Advantages of Oxygen Therapy for Cancer

    The supporters of this alternative treatment for cancer believe that high doses of oxygen in the body lead to an increase in the level of interferons in the body. Interferons are at present being used as a part of many clinical trials for different types of cancer, such as malignant melanoma, basal cell carcinoma, colorectal cancer, bladder cancer, kidney cancer, leukemia, and Non-Hodgkins lymphoma.

    Another perceived benefit of ozone gas for cancer patients is that it tends to induce the product of Tumor Necrosis Factor (TNF). The TNF helps in the fight against all types of malignant tumors, and may inhibit the growth of an existing tumor. It may even help to curb the spread of a tumor that has become metastatic.

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    Scientific Evidence in Support of Oxygen Therapy

    Unfortunately, there is not enough scientific evidence to support the theory that high doses of oxygen can help to treat any form of cancer. There have been isolated claims from different parts of the world where doctors have claimed success in treating cancer with this therapy.

    However, scientific research has not been able to establish any facts in this regard with irrefutable evidence. Therefore, patients should consult with their doctor before choosing this therapy, and exercise their own discretion. In any case, the therapy must be undertaken with adequate medical precautions in place for safe results.