Unexpectedly, breathing exercises can save a lot of cancer patients

British scientists have found a way to make radiation therapy more effective in cancer just by helping patients practice . holding their breath.

The research team from Brimingham University (UK) has conducted a series of experiments at hospitals in New Castle (UK), Belgium, and the Netherlands and demonstrated the effectiveness of the method of breathing training to increase the power of radiation therapy. cancer .

30 cancer patients were provided with oxygen-rich air (60% concentration, nearly 3% higher than 21% of normal air), and increased carbon dioxide removal from the lungs by mechanical ventilation, wear as a mask. They trained for many days under expert supervision so that in the end, with a breath of oxygen-rich air, they could hold their breath for 6 minutes.

Picture 1 of Unexpectedly, breathing exercises can save a lot of cancer patients
Holding your breath with the help of modern equipment gives hope to many cancer patients - (photo courtesy of SHUTTERSTOCK).

The purpose of this action is to . hold the patient's chest and abdomen for 6 minutes .

Dr Mike Parkes, lead author of the study, said each breath caused the human chest and abdomen to move to 4 centimeters. Meanwhile, one of the key factors in the success of radiation therapy is keeping the patient's body as still as possible.

In many cancer treatment units, doctors help patients practice holding their breath for short periods of time in order to help in that very small amount of time, the beams can find the most accurate target. With the ability to hold their breath for 6 minutes, the patients in the experiment were able to keep their bodies virtually motionless longer than others and thus the effectiveness of radiation therapy increased.

During a 65-minute treatment session, the patient will be instructed to hold his or her breath for about 41 minutes, divided into 9 sessions, with the remaining time available for establishing a holding session and restoring the breath after holding the breath.

It is not necessary for a patient to reach the level of 6 minutes for the therapy to be effective, because the normal person holds their breath for about 30 seconds. The patient is immediately resumed breathing if their systolic blood pressure rises to 180 mmHg. Up to 67% of volunteers can easily pass 6 minutes without ever reaching this limit.

The research has just been published in Radiotherapy & Oncology, the scientific journal of the European Association of Radiotherapy and Oncology.

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