Surviving from cancer is a massive achievement for many. Today’s technology in radiotherapy makes treatment more effective and potentially less damaging due to the ability to focus on the area that needs to receive radiation. There is, of course, some instances where collateral damage occurs to tissue which can lead to complications occurring some time after treatment has completed.
For head and neck cancer sufferers who have undergone treatment using radiation there is a possibility of saliva gland damage, which causes a condition known as xerostomia or dry mouth. This can negatively affect the patient’s quality of life, especially after surviving cancer. Xerostomia leaves people with a dry mouth and the inability to produce enough saliva which can cause difficulty with talking, eating and loss of taste resulting in poor nutrition, increased risk of dental decay and the inability to sleep well at night. And unfortunately, xerostomia can develop into an irreversible and life-long problem.
Wesley Hyperbaric wants to help alleviate these symptoms and is conducting a trial to help establish hyperbaric oxygen therapy as a viable treatment in patients suffering from xerostomia. Hyperbaric oxygen therapy has been successfully proven to help with soft tissue damage caused by radiation to other areas of the body, bringing hope that it can also be effective for salivary gland damage. Our trial will continue into 2019 to gain more information and produce evidence supporting the effectiveness of the treatment for the condition in the future.
Signs of xerostomia
- Problems with eating, swallowing and talking continuously
- Difficulty eating certain dry foods such as cereal
- Denture issues such as fitting, sores or palate issues
- Loss of taste
- An increase in the need to drink water – especially at night
- Dental and mouth issues such as inflammation, increased caries and ulcers.
Dr Ohnmar Aung, at Wesley Hyperbaric, is the principal investigator for this trial and is looking forward to helping more people suffering from Xerostomia. If you are interested in taking part in this trial, you will be able to help us gather scientific evidence and receive the treatment for free. All that is needed is that you have had radiation to the head and neck area and are now suffering from xerostomia and the ability to commit to taking part in a six-week program. You could be on the road to recovery as well as helping other people, in the future, who are suffering from the same conditions.
Please get in touch with us for more information on our services and to find out what the next steps are to take part in the trial.