Ozone therapy delivers ozone into the body with the aim of increasing oxygen levels and fighting cancer cells. However, there is not enough research to show the safety and efficacy of this treatment option.

Ozone is a type of oxygen present in the atmosphere. Ozone therapy may involve body saunas, blowing the gas into the body through cavities, or re-injecting ozone-enriched blood.

Some research suggests ozone therapy may have potential benefits as a cancer treatment. There are currently few reliable human studies to show whether ozone therapy is safe and effective as a treatment for breast cancer though.

This article examines the scientific evidence around ozone therapy as a cancer treatment. It also looks at the potential risks and side effects, alongside alternative treatments for breast cancer.

A person who may be undergoing ozone therapy for breast cancer.Share on Pinterest
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Ozone is a gas that occurs in the atmosphere. It is a form of oxygen and highly reactive, meaning that it is highly likely to react with other substances.

Ozone therapy administers ozone to the body through a variety of methods such as:

  • body saunas
  • blowing it into cavities in the body, apart from the lungs
  • applying it to joints or lesions
  • reinjection of a person’s blood sample mixed with ozone

Ozone therapy is an alternative therapy that claims to affect the immune system and reverse low-oxygen levels that may allow cancer cells to grow.

Ozone may significantly suppress the growth of breast cancer cells, with no effect on nontumor cells, as demonstrated by in vitro tests.

Ozone may also support chemotherapy drugs such as fluorouracil, in cells that had developed resistance to the drug. Ozone may also slow down how fast a tumor grows.

According to Complementary and Alternative Medicine for Cancer (CAM Cancer) there are not enough valid studies on humans to support the use of ozone therapy as a cancer treatment.

According to a 2022 article, the aim of ozone therapy is to increase oxygen levels in the blood by administering ozone into the body.

Ozone therapy increases the immune system response and helps the production of cells that fight cancer. This helps the body fight cancer and may potentially support the efficacy of other cancer treatments. It may also help to reduce the negative side effects of chemotherapy.

Low oxygen levels in cells may contribute to cancer cell growth. Increasing the levels of oxygen with ozone may damage or kill the cancer cells.

A 2018 article concludes that animal and in vitro studies suggest the potential benefits of ozone therapy for cancer treatment, alongside conventional treatments such as radiotherapy or chemotherapy.

Researchers require further evidence from human studies and randomized controlled trials to find out whether it could be an effective treatment for breast cancer.

A 2019 review article only found four clinical studies on ozone therapy for solid tumors within the past 30 years.

The researchers state that there is a strong case for ozone reducing tumor hypoxemia, which is a low level of oxygen that may increase tumor survival and growth.

The article concludes that there is currently a lack of clinical research to show whether ozone therapy is effective as an additional cancer treatment.

Ozone is a harmful air pollutant, which can negatively affect the respiratory system, including reducing lung function and causing inflammation in the airways.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) states that ozone is a toxic gas and they do not support the use of ozone for any medical condition.

According to CAM, there has been research that suggests ozone treatments are safe, but these studies were either lacking standard systematic review methods or had a potential bias. This means there is no reliable conclusion from these studies.

CAM also notes that safety assessments of ozone suggest intravenous delivery of ozone, injections into the spinal area, or inhalation of ozone is likely to be unsafe.

There is little reliable safety information on other ozone therapy methods.

Factors that may make it harmful for people to have ozone therapy include:

  • hyperthyroidism (which is when the thyroid gland produces too much of the thyroid hormone)
  • leukemia
  • advanced stages of HIV
  • glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase deficiency
  • ozone injections into the arteries, due to the risk of pulmonary embolism and death
  • hyperbaric medical ozone infusions, which is ozone through a needle or catheter in a highly pressurized environment

There is not enough evidence to know the safety of ozone therapy in people who are pregnant or nursing.

Reports of adverse side effects from ozone therapy include:

  • hepatitis C infections from a transfusion of ozone-enriched blood, in which the blood came from the person receiving treatment
  • intravenous delivery of ozone resulted in pulmonary embolism and death

According to the American Cancer Society, treatments for breast cancer include:

  • Surgery. This is to remove a tumor or cancerous cells.
  • Radiation therapy. High-energy radiation destroys cancer cells.
  • Chemotherapy. These are drugs that fight cancer cells, either as oral medication or intravenously.
  • Hormone therapy. Some breast cancer cells have proteins that attach to the hormones estrogen and progesterone, allowing the cancer cells to grow. Hormone therapy prevents this from happening.
  • Targeted drug therapy. Medicines that target the proteins on breast cancer cells that allow them to grow, spread, and survive for longer. People may have targeted drug therapy orally or intravenously.
  • Immunotherapy: Immunotherapy is medication that boosts the immune system to help fight cancer cells more effectively.

People may require a combination of treatments, depending on the type and stage of breast cancer.

Ozone therapy is the delivery of ozone into the body in order to increase oxygen levels to help fight cancer cells.

Animal and in vitro studies have shown promising signs that ozone therapy may help to inhibit the growth of cancer cells, and may support other cancer therapies, such as chemotherapy drugs.

However, there is currently not enough quality evidence in human trials to support the use of ozone therapy for the treatment of breast cancer at the moment. Ozone therapy may be unsafe and may cause serious side effects.