NCI Dictionary of Cancer Terms

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The NCI Dictionary of Cancer Terms features 7,800 terms related to cancer and medicine.

Browse the dictionary by selecting a letter of the alphabet or by entering a cancer-related word or phrase in the search box.

hyperbaric oxygen
(HY-per-BAYR-ik OK-sih-jen)
Oxygen that is given at a pressure that is higher than the pressure of the atmosphere at sea level. In medicine, breathing hyperbaric oxygen increases the amount of oxygen in the body. It is used in treating certain kinds of wounds, injuries, and infections. It is also used to treat carbon monoxide poisoning and other conditions in which the tissues are not getting enough oxygen. It is being studied in the treatment of some types of cancer. Hyperbaric oxygen may increase the amount of oxygen in cancer cells, which may make them easier to kill with radiation therapy and chemotherapy. It is a type of radiosensitizing agent and a type of chemosensitizing agent.