Oral mucositis is painful redness and sores in and around the mouth and throat. It can cause pain/discomfort and interfere with eating, swallowing and talking.
Oral mucositis is common for patients who are undergoing high-dose radiation for head and neck cancers and for patients who have had stem cell transplant therapy. Some patients who get chemotherapy will also notice oral mucositis as a side effect. Some chemotherapy drugs (such as, 5-FU, methotrexate, cycylopho-sphamide, etoposide and cisplatin) are known to cause oral mucositis.
Signs of oral mucositis are:
- Pain in and around your mouth and throat
- Sores (ulcers) in and around your mouth and throat
- Sometimes the pain and sores are in the intestinal tract, causing pain, nausea, diarrhea and other infections
Symptoms may continue after treatment ends.
Many patients do not report symptoms of oral mucositis to their doctors or dentists. If left untreated, it can lead to feelings of worry, depression and social isolation. It can also interrupt or delay cancer treatment.
It is important for you to report symptoms of oral mucositis to your doctor or dentist.