Designed and created by Guideline Central in participation with the Multinational Association of Supportive Care in Cancer
Management of Mucositis Secondary to Cancer Therapy
Publication Date: July 1, 2020
Last Updated: November 30, 2023
This patient summary means to discuss key recommendations from the Multinational Association of Supportive Care in Cancer and International Society for Oral Oncology (MASCC/ISOO) for mucositis secondary to cancer therapy.
- Mucous membranes line the respiratory, digestive, and urogenital tracts and produce mucus to keep those surfaces moist.
- Mucositis is inflammation of mucous membranes.
- Mucositis is a common complication of treating cancers with radiotherapy (RT), chemotherapy (CT), and hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT).
- Symptoms include pain, redness, and difficulty using the organs involved — swallowing, breathing, digestion, urinating, sexual function, and defecation (moving the bowels).
- This patient summary focuses on preventing and treating oral mucositis due to cancer treatments.
- The type of cancer treatment and its location will indicate the need for prevention.
- Symptoms related to cancer treatments are generally enough to institute therapeutic measures.
- The use of multiple methods for both prevention and treatment is encouraged.
- A preliminary dental visit to optimize oral health is desirable.
- You should be familiar with basic oral hygiene and practice it regularly.
- The methods favored by this guideline for oral mucositis include:
- Saline or sodium bicarbonate rinses
- Benzydamine mouthwash
- Photobiomodulation (light therapy)
- Oral cryotherapy (cold treatments)
- Morphine 2% mouthwash for pain
- Oral glutamine
- For HSCT with high-dose CT and RT: keratinocyte growth factor
- Regular discussions with your doctor and dentist will determine the best methods for you.
- CT: Chemotherapy
- HSCT: Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation
- ISOO: International Society Of Oral Oncology
- MASCC: Multinational Association For Supportive Care In Cancer
- RT: Radiotherapy
Elad, S, Cheng, KKF, Lalla, RV, Yarom, N, Hong, C, Logan, R M., Bowen, J, Gibson, R, Saunders, DP, Zadik, Y, Ariyawardana, A, Correa, ME, Ranna, V, Bossi, P; for the Mucositis Guidelines Leadership Group of the Multinational Association of Supportive Care in Cancer and International Society of Oral Oncology (MASCC/ISOO). MASCC/ISOO clinical practice guidelines for the management of mucositis secondary to cancer therapy. Cancer. 2020: 126: 4423– 4431. https://doi.org/10.1002/cncr.33100
The information in this patient summary should not be used as a substitute for professional medical care or advice. Contact a health care provider if you have questions about your health.