When it comes to treating cancer, you probably know there are a lot of treatment options out
there. And each day, that list continues to grow as researchers learn more about and test new
options for people with a range of cancers.
That’s because, despite being around for many years, conventional cancer treatment options
have their limitations. Chemotherapy and radiation treatment, the two most common types of
cancer treatment used for most cancers, come with a range of unpleasant side effects that can
be hard to manage. And sometimes, cancer evades these treatments, resists, or comes back
after it’s been shown to have been “successfully treated.” Given these realities, patients are
looking for new options to help them successfully treat cancer and minimize the side effects
they experience when taking conventional treatments.
If you’re a fan of saunas, then infrared sauna treatment may be of interest to you. Keep reading
to learn more about how infrared sauna treatment could be a part of your cancer care.
What is infrared sauna treatment?
We’re probably all familiar with what a sauna is. We’re probably all familiar with the use of
steam to create heat inside the sauna that can help people sweat things out. And there’s
actually some research showing that saunas do have health benefits, such as helping improve
heart health, reducing anxiety and stress.
An infrared sauna treatment builds on the idea of a traditional sauna, but uses something
different for its heat source: infrared lamps and electromagnets.
How does infrared sauna treatment work?
The use of a different way to make heat is what sets infrared saunas apart from regular saunas,
and also what gives them their therapeutic potential. While traditional saunas use steam the use
of infrared lamps can help generate heat in a different way.
The benefit of infrared saunas compared to traditional saunas is a temperature difference:
infrared saunas are significantly cooler than a traditional sauna, though they still offer many of
the same health benefits. This includes helping improve blood flow, soothing muscles that may
be sore, relieving pain, and helping you relax more.
When it comes to cancer, infrared sauna treatment operates on a theory similar to whole-body
hypothermia. Hyperthermia treatment is a therapeutic approach that has shown promise forcancer treatment in recent years. Through the use of heat, the goal is to destroy cancer cells.
Heat can affect changes in and around cells at a number of levels. For example, it can cut offoxygen supply or even make the environment around cancer cells more hostile. These changes
can make it easier for other therapeutics (such as chemotherapy) to destroy cancer cells.
While some methods of hyperthermia treatment can focus on applying heat to localized areas of
the body, whole-body hyperthermia focuses on heating the entire body. The idea behind whole
body heating is that doing so could induce a “fever-like” state. When we get a fever, it can signalto the immune system that more defenses are needed. By activating the immune system, itcould help increase the potency of other cancer treatments. This includes helping increase
white blood cell counts, which play a big role in fighting infection and cancerous cells.
Is infrared sauna treatment effective?
Research has shown that whole-body hyperthermia treatment has had some success when it
comes to shrinking tumors and improving the effectiveness of treatments like chemotherapy.
However, infrared sauna treatment, because of it’s focus on whole-body hyperthermia treatment
therapy, could also have some limitations. Normally, cancer cells consume more oxygen than a
normal cell, creating a hypoxic environment around them. This means an environment in which
there is little to no oxygen. For most cells, no oxygen equals death. Cancer cells, however,
seem to continue to thrive in this environment. In fact, cutting off oxygen (hypoxia) could actually
make cancer cells more resistant to chemotherapy or other treatments. So the use of heat could
eliminate even more oxygen from the environment around cancer cells, making it harder to treat
cancer with traditional options.
Is infrared sauna treatment safe?
For the most part, saunas are safe for most people to use. The same can be said of infrared
saunas. There are some circumstances where you would want to avoid a sauna, such as if you
are taking certain medications or if you have an implanted medical device, such as a
With any type of cancer treatment, it’s important to make sure you fully understand the available
treatment options and choose options that work for you. This should include talking to your
doctor before starting any cancer treatment. They can help you decide which treatment options
are right for you.