Chemotherapy and Radiotherapy induced oral mucosal changes in breast cancer patients – A Cross Sectional Study

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M. Supraja Chowdary, Bollineni Prasad, John Winkle Medida, Rahul Marshal Vaddeswarapu, Badari Ramakrishna Botu, Kosuri Venkata Lokesh


Aim: To assess the oral mucosal changes such as oral mucositis, oromucosal pain, xerostomia, and dysgeusia induced by chemotherapy (CT) and radiotherapy (RT) in patients with breast cancer. Materials and methods: The present study was conducted in 60 patients newly diagnosed with grade II and III nonhormonal breast cancer. The patients were divided equally into two groups, namely Group A comprising patients undergoing surgery and chemotherapy, and Group B comprising patients undergoing surgery and radiotherapy. Oral mucosal changes in Group A were assessed at baseline, cycle 2 of CT, and 6 months after CT. Similarly, oral mucosal changes in Group IB, were evaluated at baseline, week 3, and 6 months after RT .Results: During CT, oral mucositis and oral mucosal pain were observed in 28 patients (20.33%) and 20 patients (33.3%), respectively. Xerostomia was increased during CT. Dysgeusia was observed in 90% of the patients (n = 27) in Group A. In Group B, no evident alterations of oral mucosal and pain were observed. Conclusion: Patients undergoing CT exhibited a higher severity of oral mucositis, xerostomia, oral mucosal pain, and dysgeusia during the treatment than at baseline and 6 months after the treatment. However, patients undergoing RT did not exhibit any postradiation mucosal involvement, possibly because the irradiation field does not include oral mucosa.

Keywords: Breast cancer, chemotherapy, mucositis, radiotherapy, taste alterations, xerostomia

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