More than 1 million Americans will be diagnosed with cancer in the upcoming year, and a large percentage will develop serious oral complications as the result of their treatment.
Although cancer therapies such as radiation, chemotherapy and bone marrow transplantation have become more powerful and therapeutically successful over the past 10 years, these cancer-fighting treatments affect healthy tissues as well. The mouth is a frequent site of acute and chronic side effects, which can diminish quality of life for cancer patients and negatively affect treatment.
"Oral complications are often cited as the cause of the interruption and premature termination of treatment regimens for cancer patients," says Spencer Redding, DDS, MD. "Therefore, the oral complications of cancer therapy have the potential to adversely affect treatment outcomes, cancer prognosis and quality of life for millions of patients."
Reviewed: January 2012