Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy for Hematuria Following Pelvic Radiation

Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy for Hematuria Following Pelvic Radiation

Do You Have Patients Presenting With The After-Effects Of Radiation Therapy For Pelvic Cancers, Such As Hematuria And Radiation Cystitis?

Pelvic, colorectal, and prostate cancers make up a significant number of cancer diagnoses every year.

While radiation therapy is the most common treatment option for pelvic cancers, there can be early and late side effects from radiation. One of these side effects is hematuria, or blood in the patient’s urine.

There are advanced therapies and treatment techniques designed to prevent damage to healthy organs and tissues surrounding cancerous tumors, including conformal beam therapy, CT, and ultrasound-guided brachytherapy. But radiation can still cause ancillary damage manifesting as early and late side effects.    

Patients Who Have Had Radiation Therapy In The Pelvic Region May Develop Hemorrhagic Cystitis Or Proctitis, Which Can Result In Hematuria 

We found a succinct synopsis of the nexus between pelvic radiation cystitis and hematuria at the online medical information website Medscape:

Radiation cystitis is a complication of radiation therapy for pelvic tumors. The urinary bladder can be irradiated intentionally for the treatment of bladder cancer or incidentally for the treatment of other pelvic malignancies. Manifestations of radiation cystitis can range from minor, temporary, irritative voiding symptoms and painless, microscopic hematuria to more severe complications, such as gross hematuria; contracted, nonfunctional bladder; persistent incontinence; fistula formation; necrosis; and death.

That’s an eye-opening explanation of gross hematuria as a consequence of pelvic radiation therapy.

What About Symptoms And Discernable Manifestations Of Hematuria?

Common, low severity symptoms include urgency and frequency of urination. Lab tests will detect microscopic hematuria in patients presenting with minor symptoms who have had prior pelvic radiation therapy. It’s also important to note that symptoms can occur within six months, or more, after radiation treatments. 

Pelvic radiation therapy can severely damage the nerves that control the bladder muscles. It can also cause inflammation and destruction of bladder tissue at a cellular level. Severe symptoms can include urinary incontinence, gross hematuria—causing a visible pink or red color in the urine—and severe bladder tissue damage and degradation. 

Severe symptoms can also include the inability to pass blood clots accompanied by severe pain. Symptoms can be consistent or intermittent and can potentially last for years. 

The Radiation Therapy Oncology Group has developed a grading scale of Grades 1-4 to gauge the severity of the patient's symptoms.

Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy As A Non-Invasive Treatment For Hematuria

HBOT is a treatment that involves the patient breathing pure oxygen in a pressurized chamber, either monoplace or multiplace.

Increased oxygen dissolved in plasma from HBOT can reduce, eliminate, or even reverse some of the damage caused by pelvic radiation therapy. HBOT acts by stimulating angiogenesis, vascular endothelial growth factor proliferation, restoring blood flow to damaged bladder tissue, and in some cases, stopping the progression of the pathological process entirely. 

But What Are Patients Saying About HBOT As A Treatment For Hematuria Caused By Radiation Cystitis?

Dr. John Boardman is a physician and former prostate cancer patient who was treated with HBOT for radiation cystitis and hematuria after radiation therapy. Here’s what Dr. Boardman had to say to his care team at Chandler Regional Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy:

I was prescribed 40 treatments, going five days a week, for two hours. I was asking Dan [Chandler Regional Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy] for more information and research on hyperbarics and he was more than happy to show me, some even going back hundreds of years. By the third week, my hematuria stopped and has not returned. The radiation proctitis that had caused issues with my lower colon & bladder, resolved completely. I am amazed!

That’s a powerful testimony from a patient who’s also a physician.

Do you have patients presenting with hematuria post-radiation?

HBOT can be a non-invasive, low-risk, life-changing treatment for patients struggling with radiation cystitis, hematuria, and other early and late effects of pelvic radiation therapy. 

Would you like to learn more about HBOT treatment solutions from a dedicated team of experts? 

At CūtisCare our delivery models are designed to fill a critical void that exists in the wound care, treatment, and healing space, including injuries and trauma resulting from radiation therapy. 

We are a healing-centric, compliance-driven organization providing innovative, effective, purpose-built clinical solutions for wound care and treatment. Our solutions are uniquely crafted to augment the staffing and clinical strengths of our diverse group of partners.  

Could your hospital, practice, or clinic benefit from improved radiation-induced wound care capabilities?

Get in touch with one of our HBOT thought leaders today.