Oxygen therapy helping cancer patients

Oxygen therapy helping cancer patients

FRESNO, Calif. (KSEE/KGPE) – Hyperbaric Oxygen therapy helps patients with hard-to-heal wounds by providing them oxygen-rich plasma to damaged tissue and helps the wound heal faster.

After going through radiation therapy for bladder cancer, local resident Gary Bowers suffered from radiation ulcers. Radiation ulcers are a side effect of radiation that can be extremely painful.

“For me, the hyperbaric treatment is an absolute godsend because nothing else, nothing has worked,” said Bowers. “Over the last year, my bladder has been bleeding and the doctors have tried everything they can to stop the bleeding and nothing works.”

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Bowers says although the radiation was treating his cancer, it was not allowing his bladder to heal.

He was referred to the John C. Harris Wound Healing Center at Clovis Community Medical Center for Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy.

“So we see chronic wounds,” said Brian Chandler. “We see all kinds of chronic and so chronic lens a wound that doesn’t heal normally,”

Chandler is the Clinical Supervisor of the Wound Center and says patients who are referred to them typically have wounds that have not healed for at least 30 days.

“That is a side effect,” said Dr. Lura Reddington. “The bleeding gets ahead of them and it develops so fast in the bladder and the bladder is not able to drain properly.”

Reddington is the Medical Director for Wound Healing and Hyperbarics.

“So for radiation cystitis, often we can see improvement,  but it doesn’t happen after maybe five or 10 sessions,” she said. “And often they’ll take up to 40 treatments.”

Bowers’s condition has greatly improved since he began hyperbaric treatment and he says he is finally feeling more like himself.

“I’m looking forward to getting back to normal,” he said.  “You know, I am getting stronger, I laid in the hospital bed for six weeks and I lost the use of my legs. I could hardly walk. “Now I’m walking with a walker and my legs are getting stronger. And I’m looking forward to where I can divorce that walker  and get rid of the walker and walk on my own, that’s what I want to do.”

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