Ozone therapy is a means of treatment sometimes used instead of more traditional therapies for the treatment of cancer. Ozone is an extremely active form of oxygen that many people believe has the ability to heal. Others believe that any claims of healing properties are not scientific and that there are no benefits resulting from ozone therapy.
What is Ozone Therapy?
Ozone is part of the earth’s upper atmosphere that has a role in the absorption of harmful radiation from the sun. Those who back ozone therapy believe that diseases, including cancer, are caused by microorganisms that thrive in low-oxygen environments. The theory is that when ozone is administered to cancer patients, their levels of oxygen increase and this eventually results in damage to the microorganisms causing the cancer.
Ozone may be administered to cancer patients in one of five different manners:
- Externally – A stream of ozone is passed over exposed lesions or tumors.
- Injection of a mixture of ozone and oxygen either into a muscle or beneath the skin in the area of the tumor.
- Injection into a vein or artery – This is done with an IV and proponents of ozone therapy state that just the diseased or unhealthy tissues are affected. They also claim that there is no danger of side effects because the bubbles injected into the blood dissolve quickly.
- Autohemotherapy – In this method, blood is take from the patient and exposed to ozone. The blood is then transfused back into the patient.
- Ozone therapy can also be admitted rectally.
How Effective is Ozone Therapy for Treating Cancer?
Whether or not ozone therapy has any medical value is a debate that has gone on for many years. The American Cancer Society last reviewed it in 1994 and reported that while much research has been done on ozone therapy, this research has not resulted in any evidence that it is effective for treating cancer and it could even have some harmful side effects. Ingestion of ozone can cause severe poisoning and irritate the skin when high concentrations are used.
The American Cancer Society’s stance is to advise cancer patients against ozone therapy. In fact, no medical associations or authorities on health issues in any English speaking country sanction the use of ozone therapy.
Additionally, researchers in this area have learned that the reason the environment around tumor cells is low in oxygen is that the tissue surrounding tumors does not have as many blood vessels as healthy tissue. This results in these areas receiving less oxygen than healthy tissue.