Self Reported Oral Pain and Dysfunctions Associated with Radiation Induced Oral Mucositis among Head and Neck Cancer Patients: A Prospective Observational Study
Objectives: This study aimed at identifying and describing self reported oral pain and dysfunctions associated with oral mucositis among patients with head and neck cancer treated with radiation .
Method: A prospective observational study was conducted on 30 head and neck cancer patients who were undergoing radiation therapy and consented to participate. Data was collected by using a baseline proforma, WHO Oral Toxicity scale and Patient reported oral mucositis symptom scale .The patients were followed up during the entire course of radiation therapy and were monitored for the development of oral mucositis and were asked to rate their pain and associated dysfunctions on 100 mm scale.
Result: The present study findings revealed that all the subjects developed oral mucositis at the end of third week which was progressed to grade 3 or 4 mucositis by the end of therapy. The scores of oral pain and oral dysfunctions were progressively increased during the course of treatment with its peak at the end of treatment. Cumulative dose of radiation therapy and receipt of concurrent chemotherapy were found to have a significant association with oral dysfunction. The study also noted a significant positive correlation with severity of mucositis and oral dysfunctions.
Conclusion: Severe and painful oral mucositis is a dose limiting adverse effect of radiation therapy and its detrimental effect on oral functions is significant .Hence adequate preventive measures of mucositis to be identified to enhance the quality of life of head and neck cancer patients receiving radiation therapy.
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