How Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy Offers Help in Treating Cancer

Receiving a cancer diagnosis can be overwhelming, especially when it comes to finding the most effective treatment for your diagnosis. That’s why Dr. Ira Klonsky and the team at South Shore Surgical provide personalized attention and compassionate care along with our premium services and innovative treatments at our hyperbaric medicine center. 

If you have cancer, we can guide you through your treatment options and offer the least invasive techniques available, including hyperbaric oxygen therapy, to help you achieve the best results with faster recovery times.

Here’s how hyperbaric oxygen therapy can play a valuable role in treating cancer.

How hyperbaric oxygen therapy works

Hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBO or HBOT) is a therapeutic technique designed to increase the oxygen in your body.

When you breathe, you take oxygen into your body, where it passes from your lungs into your bloodstream. This process enables oxygen-rich blood to feed all of the cells throughout your body. 

When you have hyperbaric oxygen therapy, we increase the air pressure around you to three times higher than normal. This change in pressure helps your lungs absorb even more oxygen, which in turn increases the levels in your blood.

Having high levels of oxygen in your body triggers the release of naturally occurring substances like stem cells that stimulate the healing process. It also helps fight bacteria and infection in your body.

Using hyperbaric oxygen therapy to treat cancer

All of your cells require oxygen to survive, even cancer cells. However, when you have tumors in your body, they often outgrow their oxygen supply. Instead of failing to survive without enough oxygen, some cancer cells can actually thrive and even resist treatment. 

By flooding your system with concentrated oxygen in your bloodstream, hyperbaric oxygen can help make your cancer cells easier to kill with treatments like chemotherapy and radiation while also activating the healing process in your body.

Additional benefits of hyperbaric oxygen therapy for cancer treatment include:

Hyperbaric oxygen therapy also comes with few side effects. If they do occur, they’re typically mild and pass quickly.

What to expect from hyperbaric oxygen therapy

We provide hyperbaric oxygen therapy on-site in our hyperbaric medicine center. These treatments are typically painless and can take up to two hours, depending on your unique condition.

During your appointment, you lie comfortably in a clear plastic tube or a special room while we increase the air pressure in the space around you. This process is painless, but you may have a passing feeling of fullness in your ears, similar to flying or changing elevation. If you have this response, you can relieve the sensation by swallowing or yawning.

After your hyperbaric oxygen therapy session, you can resume normal activity, but you may feel tired or hungry.

We usually recommend a series of hyperbaric oxygen therapy treatments to achieve the best results. These often occur over several days or weeks, but we can provide a more detailed strategy based on your specific case.


To see if hyperbaric oxygen therapy should be part of your cancer treatment, call us today at South Shore Surgical in Valley Stream, New York, at 516-200-1318 or request an appointment using our online scheduler. You can also send Dr. Klonsky and the team a message here on our website.

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