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Cancer Treatment and Mouth Sores

June 30th, 2013 by Deb Wilson

http://www.dreamstime.com/royalty-free-stock-photos-physician-woman-examine-patient-image16522218Cancer treatments can be miraculous and life saving, but they are not without side effects.  One of the common side effects is the formation of mouth sores that can become a severe complication leading to infection, bleeding and difficulty eating and swallowing.

Cancer-related mouth sores are sores or ulcers that form on the inside lining of your mouth or on your lips. The mouth sores appear burn-like and can be painful, making it difficult to eat, talk, swallow and breathe. Sores can appear on any of the soft tissues of your lips or your mouth, including your gums, your tongue, or the roof and floor of your mouth. Sores can also extend into the tube (esophagus) that carries food to your stomach.

Mouth Sores Caused By Cancer Treatment

There are things that the Mayo Clinic staff recommend to reduce your risk of mouth sores, and to limit their severity if they do occur.

Get a dental checkup. 

…Tell your doctor if you have a history of mouth sores.

…Take care of your teeth.

…Stop smoking.

…Eat a diet rich in fruits and vegetables.

…Cold therapy (cryotherapy).

…Medication to repair mouth cells.

There are also options to consider if mouth sores develop

Coating agents.

…Topical painkillers.

…Avoid painful foods.

…Eat small meals more frequently.

…Use a straw.

…Continue cleaning your mouth.

For more information about your risks and options, check out the Mayo Clinic site linked above.

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