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Keywords:

  • cancer;
  • chemotherapy;
  • mucositis;
  • oral;
  • radiotherapy

Abstract

Background.

Oral mucositis is a common sequel of radiotherapy, chemotherapy, and radiochemotherapy in patients with cancer or patients requiring hemopoietic stem cell transplants. Mucositis has a direct and significant impact on the duration of disease remission and cure rates, because it is a treatment-limiting toxicity. Mucositis also affects survival because of the risk of infection and has a significant impact on quality of life and cost of care.

Methods.

This article reviews publications on the diagnosis and management of oral mucositis accessible from a MEDLINE search using as key words mucositis, radiotherapy, chemotherapy, hemopoietic stem cell transplant, and oral.

Conclusions.

Conventional care of patients with mucositis is currently essentially palliative, with good oral hygiene, narcotic analgesics, and topical palliative mouth rinses. © 2004 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Head Neck 26: 77–84, 2004