One of the most common complications occurring as a result of the two types of oncologic treatment, chemotherapy and radiation, is that of oral mucositis.
In medical terms, it is the acute inflammation and ulceration of the oral mucosa whose integrity is compromised by the damage of rapidly divided epithelial cells that line the gastrointestinal tract, incidental to chemotherapy and/or radiation therapy involving head and neck area.
Oral Mucositis is a debilitating condition that causes severe clinical and psychological effects. The severity and burden of its symptoms consist the borderline that differentiates simple mouth ulcers in healthy individuals from oral mucositis. In matter of fact, the impacts of this condition on patient’s life is so dramatic that may compromise ongoing life-saving cancer treatment and impede the proper application of therapeutic protocols.
In conclusion, the successful relief of other two cancer treatment induced complications, nausea and neutropenia, makes oral mucositis the most severe and dose-limiting side effect of chemotherapy and radiotherapy.