Oxygen therapy is being promoted on the Internet as a treatment for cancer, but there is no evidence that it works. The notion that oxygen might destroy cancer cells goes back to the 1930s when Otto Warburg, MD, a Nobel Prize winner, discovered that compared to normal cells, cancer cells have a low respiration rate. He proposed that if cancer cells survive and grow in a low oxygen environment, they would die off if exposed to higher levels of oxygen. Since then, we've learned that Dr. Warburg was wrong. Oxygen doesn't slow cancer growth - tumors grow rapidly in tissues well supplied with oxygenated blood and the opposite is true, too: depriving tumors of oxygen doesn't stimulate their growth. Moreover, a study published in the Spring/Summer 1998 issue of Scientific Review of Alternative Medicine noted that since human tissues require 200 to 250 ml of oxygen per minute, an additional 20 ml that could be dissolved in all of the plasma of a normal weight adult would hardly be enough to make a difference in the amount of oxygen cancer cells would receive.
Despite this knowledge, you'll find claims that oxygen therapy using ozone and hydrogen peroxide works against a number of diseases including certain types of cancer, AIDS, heart disease and Alzheimer's disease. The treatment advocated may involve introducing ozone gas into the rectum, injecting it into a muscle or withdrawing blood from a patient, forcing ozone into the blood and then returning it to the patient's body. Alternatively, hydrogen peroxide is diluted and then administered orally, rectally, intravenously or vaginally. This is particularly dangerous since large amounts of injected hydrogen peroxide can cause an arterial gas embolism, a condition that can lead to permanent lung damage and, sometimes, death. Moreover, opting for oxygen therapy instead of the proven treatments conventional medicine has to offer can have life-threatening consequences.
Andrew Weil, M.D.