HYPERBARIC OXYGEN THERAPY FOR BREAST CANCER RADIATION INJURY

HEALING AFTER RADIATION

Many women will require radiation therapy as part of their treatment plan. In some cases, some complications may arise months to years after radiation, resulting in ulceration to the breast that may require further surgery. Irradiated tissue is not like unirradiated tissue in that it doesn’t heal as well. Therefore you may be at higher risk of complications for radiation injury if you have surgery.
This therapy reduces complications from surgery performed in the irradiated area. Hyperbaric oxygen therapy (also referred to as HBOT or HBO2) is most effective when started before surgery and immediately after surgery, allowing your body to build up new blood vessels before the surgery and then supporting that tissue with extra doses of oxygen to enhance healing.
If radiation and surgery are part of your treatment plan, get a hyperbaric consult before surgery. You don’t want to miss the opportunity to use hyperbaric oxygen therapy by thinking about it after your surgery or after your wound has failed to heal.

WHAT IS HYBERBARIC OXYGEN THERAPY?

HOW DOES HYPERBARIC OXYGEN THERAPY WORK?

WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS?

HEALING AFTER RADIATION

If you have had radiation as part of your cancer treatment, you MAY be a candidate for hyperbaric oxygen therapy, if you:

  • Have an ulcer or non-healing wound in the area that was irradiated.
  • Are having surgery to replace an infected breast implant or tissue expander in the breast that was irradiated
  • Require further reconstructive surgery in the area that was irradiated.

Hyperbaric oxygen is time sensitive, as you may want to start it BEFORE your surgery.

Ask your doctor for a hyperbaric medicine consultation to see if you would benefit from this treatment.

Testimonials

Meet Mindy-Stage 2 Emotional Contributor

“Hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) can be such a game changer for those of us in the cancer community who have or will undergo radiation! Empower yourself by knowing your options and learning more about this highly effective intervention for wound healing!”

-Mindy

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Enoch Huang, MD, MPH&TM, FACEP, FUHM, FACCWS

Program Medical Director for Hyperbaric Medicine and Chronic Wound Care at Legacy Emanuel Medical Center in Portland, OR

He graduated Princeton University with a degree in Chemistry. He attended medical school at Tulane University School of Medicine where he also obtained a Masters Degree in Public Health and Tropical Medicine. He completed a residency in Emergency Medicine at the University of California, Irvine and went on to complete a fellowship in Undersea and Hyperbaric Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania.

Interested in Getting Started with Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy?

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Commonly Asked Questions

A typical individual HBOT therapy session lasts between 90 minutes and two hours.
Your unique medical background will heavily influence the number of required sessions. People typically need between 10 and 30 sessions. Depending on your diagnosis and insurance coverage, it may be more or less than that.

Medicare and Medicaid are among the several insurance providers that cover HBOT for authorized diseases. Check your individual coverage to see whether you are qualified based on your specific circumstances.

For instance, some insurance companies may pay HBOT as an additional treatment for wound healing if normal wound healing therapies have failed to provide demonstrable benefits after 30 days.

Your HBOT/wound healing clinic will prepare you for your first consultation. Typical guidance comprises:

  • Consume a healthy lunch before to your arrival.
  • Avoid carbonated and caffeinated drinks.
  • Abstain from using tobacco.
  • Wear only pure cotton garments.
  • Do not use hair or skin products containing petroleum.

This page is sponsored by CūtisCare and HyperbaricAware.com in partnership with the Undersea and Hyperbaric Medical Society, providing an educational resource for patients and physicians to learn more about hyperbaric oxygen therapy, the indications, and patient selection criteria for treatment. We invite you and your physician to explore the site to learn more about this life-changing therapy.

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