Management of Oral Mucositis in cancer patients

Oral mucositis can be a significant problem for cancer patients. It is typically associated with pain and increased risk of infection and can lead to impaired nutritional status and inadequate hydration.

These sequelae result in the need for supportive interventions. Mucositis also may be associated with increased risk for poorer outcome of cancer treatment due to the need for treatment interruption in some patient cohorts.

Frequen­cies of oral mucositis are estimated at

  • 85% - 100% (25% - 45% grade 3/4) in the setting of head and neck high-dose radiation therapy
  • 75% - 100% (25% - 60% grade 3/4) in stem cell transplanta­tion
  • 5% - 40% (5% - 15% grade 3/4 ) in pa­tients receiving myelosuppressive chemotherapy for solid tumors.

Guidelines for treatment - prevention

Traditional management of oral mucositis has involved patient education and compliance:

  • Excellent oral hygiene
  • use of non-alcoolic mouthwashes
  • Topical protective agents and systemic agents for pain control
  • Hydration nutritional support, and infection surveillance and treatment.

Risk of Oral Mucositis (2006)
Peterson DE – J Supp Onc

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