Radiation Cystitis is a complication of radiation therapy for pelvic tumors. The urinary bladder can be irradiated for the treatment of bladder cancer or the treatment of other pelvic malignancies. While the malignancy may be successfully removed, the high doses of radiation used to kill cancer cells may still cause long-term damage to nearby healthy cells in some patients.
Manifestations of radiation cystitis can range from minor, temporary, urinary problems, and painless, microscopic blood in urine to more severe complications, such as gross hematuria; contracted, non-functional bladder; severe incontinence, fistula formation, necrosis, and possibly even death.
Radiation cystitis is a significant clinical problem and most times refractory (difficult to treat). However, HBOT (Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy) has proven to be an effective treatment for some patients who previously had little hope of recovering from late side effects of radiotherapy.
ORN likewise is another chronic type of radiation damage of the jaw/ mandible region. It can be either the soft tissue or the bony areas of these regions. Generally, ORN will not respond to local care or spontaneous healing. It is treatable with HBO therapy as an adjunct, along with antibiotics and prior to the need for surgery and or tooth extraction. The bone is refractory to healing after radiation and usually any type of damage will lead to loss of bone and necrosis of surrounding tissue.
ORN usually develops months or even years after radiation therapy is used. The role of HBOT is to improve blood supply to tissues around problematic areas of the mouth, jaw, neck and even sinus’ possibly affected by long-term radiation damage.
Treatment protocols may vary depending on the severity of individual conditions. Used prophylactically for simple extractions, 15-20 treatments prior to the procedure, followed by 20-30 HBOT after extraction. When used in
conjunction with more severe bone loss the treatment will change, and a determination will be made based on recommendations by HBOT physicians.
Compliance with daily treatments is necessary for optimal results. Smoking cessation is highly recommended to maximize the use of HBOT.