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hyperbaric oxygen therapy

judithann
Posts: 4
Joined: Nov 2010

My husband was diagnosed with stage IV throat cancer in March and underwent 7 weeks of radiation and 7 rounds of chemotherapy. The tumor was at the base of his tounge and around his tonsil area and was to large to remove with surgery. After completion of his treatment May 25th he has had 1 pet scan and 2 biopsies because of concerns. He is still on pain meds and in a lot of pain, and still unable to eat any food or take any fluids other than through his peg tube, even though after completion of treatment he was eating and drinking until the first of July. Because of the backslide the Dr's would like him to try the oxygen chamber. There is another pet scan scheduled for Nov 18th and we are waiting until then to make a final decision. Our question would be if anyone has any experience with using this therapy bad or good? This is a big commitment to make, but one we would willing make if we could get some relief for my husband. Thank you for any responses or thoughts.

dennis318's picture
dennis318
Posts: 349
Joined: Feb 2010

I spent 5 weeks daily in the hyper, the over radiation of my throat, and i was smelling from the inside out from the burn, burnt meat as my boss said. I also had a trach i was tryng to rid myself of, it last about 2-1/2 hours daily. tedious, like a long nap, doesn't hurt at all. I did rid myself of the trach and my throat healed, but my throat collapsed. which required emergency surgery, and they replaced my trach, I also heard it is good for bad teeth, from radiation and any wounds and speeds the healing greatly. Make sure your insursance company has authorized this procdeure, My doctors gave the ok, and now since it was was newly payable this year, it has thrown everyone off how to bill it, and i a hospital trying to get paid, and it gets rejected every month by there coding...Take Care. Hope this Helps. Dennis

judithann
Posts: 4
Joined: Nov 2010

Thank you for the reply Dennis. Our thoughts are to go forward with the treatment, but because of the cost and the daily commitment we was looking for someones input that had participated in the process. It sounds as if it did help with your healing,although you did have some serious side effects from the trach. We hope everything goes better for you going forward. Judy & Larry

abbimom's picture
abbimom
Posts: 81
Joined: Sep 2010

I used it when I had to get my wisdom teeth removed and it worked. It is a big commitment very time consuming but if I did not do this I would've had necrosis of the jaw (degeneration of the jaw bone). So I'm happy with the results. Make sure like someone else said to get it preapproved and keep all interactions with your insurance company written down. Also talk to the person in charge at the oxygen chamber and ask them after insurance what you will be responsible for. Ask what all the costs are. I'm ten years out and it took almost a year to get back to solid foods after treatment. It gets better with time, but I've had to change the way I eat. It will get better just keep remembering that. I had tongue cancer on the left side of my tongue and it spread to the lymphnodes in my neck. Things will get better with time. My thoughts and prayers go out to you.
Best wishes,
Linda

fisrpotpe's picture
fisrpotpe
Posts: 1317
Joined: Aug 2010

To me this is all about Risk and Reward. The big risk is that oxygen also helps the bad C cells grow also. If there were any cells left after all the treatments the oxygen may help them grow. This is the risk! The reward is all the good things, helps healing there is no doubt.

My experience is radiation,chemo,surgery 14 years ago, no recurrence the next 12 1/2 years. At 12 years post treatment they found what they thought was cancer but turned out to be necrosis on the pharynx. The option was only IV antibiotics for 10 weeks 3 times per day along with HBO treatments 40. After many months the results were go, the necrosis was healing well, this is the reward. 5 months later after HBO they found cancer on the tongue, this is the risk. How dose one go 13 years and no cancer recurrence until 5 months after HBO.

My original doctor who died from cancer 5 years ago always told me that HBO would be only offered if there were no options.

Not that I am against HBO but you need to consider all options with Risk & Reward.

Not what you or others wanted to hear but I had to share good, bad or indifferent.

By the way they continue to watch me closely every three months now and had 3 biopsy's since tongue surgery to remove cancer. Before the necrosis I was going one time per year.

I was told that after using HBO there are no benefits to using it again later in life. I do not know this for certain but I was told.

Good Luck with you choice!

John

fisrpotpe's picture
fisrpotpe
Posts: 1317
Joined: Aug 2010

To me this is all about Risk and Reward. The big risk is that oxygen also helps the bad C cells grow also. If there were any cells left after all the treatments the oxygen may help them grow. This is the risk! The reward is all the good things, helps healing there is no doubt.

My experience is radiation,chemo,surgery 14 years ago, no recurrence the next 12 1/2 years. At 12 years post treatment they found what they thought was cancer but turned out to be necrosis on the pharynx. The option was only IV antibiotics for 10 weeks 3 times per day along with HBO treatments 40. After many months the results were go, the necrosis was healing well, this is the reward. 5 months later after HBO they found cancer on the tongue, this is the risk. How dose one go 13 years and no cancer recurrence until 5 months after HBO.

My original doctor who died from cancer 5 years ago always told me that HBO would be only offered if there were no options.

Not that I am against HBO but you need to consider all options with Risk & Reward.

Not what you or others wanted to hear but I had to share good, bad or indifferent.

By the way they continue to watch me closely every three months now and had 3 biopsy's since tongue surgery to remove cancer. Before the necrosis I was going one time per year.

I was told that after using HBO there are no benefits to using it again later in life. I do not know this for certain but I was told.

Good Luck with you choice!

John

dennis318's picture
dennis318
Posts: 349
Joined: Feb 2010

I wanted to add this after dealing with insursance company's and hospitals....For some reason, this procedure is very hard to get covered by insursance, my final, final told me the pre authorized everything before doing it, thank you very much...after 6 months, the hospital has finally recieved ther first check, i went threw everyone check and no one wanted to help me, i heard the news today by someone who felt sorry for me. Also ther where added on charges that where added to this, that I have to pay for, Cnacer is not cheap, even if you have insursance, right now i figure i'm close to out of pocket, 2500.00 for this procedure, so please check in this and see if it is something that is needed. I just want anyone to know, Thank Goodness for the insurance I do have, this procedure for around a month has totaled around $68.000.00 without insurance..thisis one month of service, and docotrs you will never meet...Later Dennis

judithann
Posts: 4
Joined: Nov 2010

Thank you very much to everyone who took the time to reply. Everyone made good points to take into consideration before going forward. We will not make a final decision until the pet scan results on the 19th. And before a commitment is made we will make certain of how much the insurance will cover the expense to go along with the treatment. Judy & Larry

gwmmedical
Posts: 2
Joined: Nov 2010

Saw your post is in present - so I registered to reply. I was doing search on HBOT and cancer. I have read much about HBOT (Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy). Been looking for information re HBOT as cancer therapy. Significant amount in using it as an adjunct, making other therapies more effective. Especially post radiation treatment. Vast majority of information points to benign nature of treatment and dramatic results. There appear to be few situations where it cannot be used with a patient. FYI - There are Total of 13 FDA approved conditions including Radiation Necrosis. See: http://www.patientsmedical.com/treatmentoptions/hyperbaricoxygentherapy/conditionstreated.aspx for list plus off label uses. That site is sponsored by a clinic.

There is the less commonly referred to mild HBOT. Which, technically, is not HBOT as 100% oxygen is not used. Either room air, 28% oxygen, is pressurized in a soft sided chamber or an approx. 95% oxygen level is achieved via an oxygen concentrator. Nature of my physical problem, neurological, makes this reply a bit of a chore. Good external picture of a mild chamber is here:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:40%22_Mild_Hyperbaric_Chamberexternal.jpg.

Mild Chambers allowed and often operated in home. I believe unit shown cost approx. $13,000. Long term lease appears to be way to go. They try to kill people with 1 or 2 month rental. Company that sells Unit pictured has same for sale through Ebay and number of vids on YouTube. Many clinics use mild hyperbaric chambers and market service to public. Guessing tremendous cost when through hospital is associated with many things including cost of "hard" unit, est. $75-100 thousand dollars, high operating cost, 100% oxygen gas is used, etc. etc. etc.

Best, You and your husband are in my prayers.

judithann
Posts: 4
Joined: Nov 2010

Thank you for the information and web site you furnished. My husbands last pet scan on November the 18th showed no residual cancer left. With that information and the fact that he is slowly starting to feel better, he has decided to wait at least another month before making a final decision on the treatment.

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