Delayed Radiation Injuries And HBOT Treatments

Published on
February 11, 2016

Heal Delayed Radiation Injuries with HBOT, an AMA and FDA-Approved Radiation Necrosis Treatment

A woman receiving radiation treatment

It’s hard enough to get through cancer radiation treatment without worrying about its difficult long-term side effects. Radiation effectively eradicates breast, head, neck, prostate, rectal, cervical and bladder tumors. But despite doctors’ best efforts, radiation can impact a tumors’ surrounding tissues by causing focal lesions and radiation necrosis. These tissue injuries create painful and difficult symptoms. These symptoms can appear anywhere from six months to decades after the original radiation treatment. We refer to cell injuries and death as Radiation Necrosis. Hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) is a safe, non-invasive and FDA-approved way to heal (or even prevent) radiation injuries.

Physicians have treated patients with HBOT in the U.S., Europe and around the world for decades to successfully treat radiation necrosis. In fact, the disease is one of 14 conditions that the FDA officially approves for healing with hyperbaric oxygen. During HBOT, a patient lies comfortably in a hard-shell, sealed clear chamber. They relax and breathe in pure oxygen under a variety of sea level pressures. This high 02 density provides nutrients to oxygen-starved areas of the body. This promotes swelling reduction and tissue healing. When patients begin having HBOT immediately after completing radiation treatments, they can often avoid necrosis (tissue death) altogether. But why tempt fate? If patients wait to see whether they’ll get radiation necrosis, they can end up with symptoms that are truly devastating.

A man undergoing HBOT

More About Radiation Necrosis

The earliest indication of radiation necrosis could be a simple, low-grade fever. If you have recently had radiation treatments, you should routinely monitor your vitals, such as temperature, heart and respiration rates and take care not to over-exert yourself while exercising. In fact, do not exercise within two hours of radiation treatments at all, because exercise boosts blood circulation and that could increase radiation’s effects. While exercising, always be on the lookout for signs of excessive sweating, pale skin color, labored breathing, or fatigue. These could signal early-stage necrosis symptoms.

Later stage symptoms of delayed radiation injury can be devastating. Side effects include fatigue, diarrhea, nausea, seizures, pain, headaches, problems thinking and planning, memory loss, infertility and, sometimes, even death. Those who have radiation necrosis can rarely keep working or live a normal life. That’s why we advocate starting hyperbaric treatments as soon as completing radiation therapy.

If you are interested in more information on radiation necrosis and how hyperbaric oxygen can help, check out our information page HERE.

Does Insurance Cover HBOT Therapy for Delayed Radiation Injuries?

Radiation Necrosis is one of 14 conditions that the FDA officially approves for healing with HBOT. Medicare and other insurers will frequently cover the cost, but your carrier makes the ultimate decision as to whether they will pay for your treatment. We can let you know with more certainty if we are able to evaluate your health condition in person. In cases where insurance does not cover HBOT Therapy, we will go over several options with you that can help to keep treatments more affordable.

If radiation damage has caused you to suffer from delayed pain and discomfort or if you would like to lessen your risk of getting radiation necrosis, we can help. To learn more about AMA and FDA-approved Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy, call (727) 787-7077 today, or click here to schedule a personalized consultation with neurologist Dr. Spiegel, MD. A member of our office staff will confirm your appointment soon.