A side effect from cancer treatment is bone cell damage called osteoradionecrosis. The condition also affects the blood cells supplying the bone. The areas of the body most commonly damaged are the lower jaw (mandible), the chest wall, pelvis, vertebral column, and skull. Wounds to the damaged bone fail to heal because of hypoxia (inadequate supply of oxygen).

According to a National Cancer Institute Consensus Paper published in 1990, “the keystone of the treatment of ORN is providing adequate tissue oxygenation in the damaged bone. This is best accomplished by using hyperbaric therapy.”

Hyperbaric oxygen therapy works to reverse the damage to the bone through tissue oxygenation.