Diagnosed with Cancer? Your two greatest challenges are understanding cancer and understanding possible side effects from chemo and radiation.  Knowledge is Power!

Learn about conventional, complementary, and integrative therapies.

Dealing with treatment side effects? Learn about evidence-based therapies to alleviate your symptoms.

Click the orange button to the right to learn more.

Oral Mucositis- Prevent, Treat

Share Button

Mucositis- A complication of some cancer therapies in which the lining of the digestive system becomes inflamed. Often seen as sores in the mouth.

Oral Mucositis is the most common side effect you’ve never heard of. 40% of patients and 90% of head and neck cancer patients.

I am a long-term survivor of a blood cancer called multiple myeloma. Mucositis is common to any patient undergoing chemotherapy and/or radiation. This side effect is even more common for head and neck cancer patients.

I split my time between reading and writing about myeloma and reading and writing about short, long-term and late stage side effects.

The seriousness of this common side effect is not simply that it causes pain and suffering. A percentage of mucositis patients may have to postpone therapy and the unspoken reality is that mucositis can lead to death. 

If you are reading this post in advance of your stem cell transplant, consider the easy therapies listed below that can greatly reduce your chances of OM during an ASCT.

If you are reading this post and you’ve already gotten mucositis and are wondering how to speed your recovery, consider those therapies above in addition to the studies linked and excerpted below.

The main issue in my experience isn’t short term discomfort. The real issue is your prognosis. Meaning, your therapy plan is based on specific therapies at specific times in specific doses. This is how FDA approved therapies work.

A “drug holiday” caused by oral mucositis will disrupt your therapy plan. I am not questioning your desire for a break in therapy in order for you to heal. I’m saying that your therapy plan is based on not having a drug holiday. Maybe I should say that some drug holidays can be based on serious health issues. Oral mucositis is preventable.

If you’ve undergone radiation therapy for head and neck cancer- click now

Scroll down the page, post a question or a comment and I will reply to you ASAP.

Hang in there,

David Emerson

  • Cancer Survivor
  • Cancer Coach
  • Director PeopleBeatingCancer

A common side effect that is often overlooked yet can be painful and debilitating. OM can even kill. Like all short term side effects an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. 


A complication of some cancer therapies in which the lining of the digestive system becomes inflamed. Often seen as sores in the mouth.

The effect of three different solutions on preventing oral mucositis in cancer patients undergoing stem cell transplantation: a non-randomized controlled trial: A Turkish study – NON-RANDOMISED TRIAL

Objective: To evaluate the effect of different solutions administered to patients undergoing stem cell transplantation on oral mucositis.

Methods: The non-randomised controlled trial was conducted at a Istanbul Medipol Mega university hospital in Turkey between May 2014 and June 2016, and comprised patients undergoing stem cell transplantation. They were divided into three groups.

  • Group 1 had patients using chlorhexidine gluconate and benzydamine hydrochloride solution.
  • Group 2 had those using calcium and phosphate solution.
  • Group 3 patients were using black mulberry syrup.

Data was collected using a structured questionnaire and the World Health Organisation mucositis assessment scale. Assessment was done on days 7, 14 and 21. Clinical significance of oral solutions was statistically determined.

Results: Of the 83 patients,

  • 30(36%) were in group 1,
  • 28(34%) in group 2, and
  • 25(30%) in group 3.

On day 7, there was no significant difference in terms of grades among the groups (p>0.05). On day 14, grade 2 mucositis was seen in 2(8%) patents in group 3, 5(17.9%) in group 2 and 5(16.7%) in group 1; Grade 3 mucositis was seen in 2(6.7%) patients in group 1, but none in the other two groups. On day 21, grade 3 mucositis was present in 2(8.0%) in group 3, 2(7.1%) in group 2, and 4(13.3%) in group 1.

Conclusions: The use of black mulberry and calcium-phosphate solutions was found to be beneficial in preventing and treating oral mucositis.

Interventions for preventing oral mucositis in patients with cancer receiving treatment: oral cryotherapy

Main results: We included 14 RCTs analysing 1280 participants. The vast majority of participants did not receive radiotherapy to the head and neck, so this review primarily assesses prevention of chemotherapy-induced oral mucositis…

Authors’ conclusions: We are confident that oral cryotherapy leads to large reductions in oral mucositis of all severities in adults receiving 5FU for solid cancers.

We are less confident in the ability of oral cryotherapy to reduce oral mucositis in adults receiving high-dose melphalan before HSCT. Evidence suggests that it does reduce oral mucositis in these adults, but we are less certain about the size of the reduction, which could be large or small.

However, we are confident that there is an appreciable reduction in severe oral mucositis in these adults.This Cochrane review includes some very recent and currently unpublished data, and strengthens international guideline statements for adults receiving the above cancer treatments.”

Turmeric Mouthwash Reduces Severity of Oral Mucositis in Head and Neck Cancer

“A turmeric mouthwash can reduce the severity of oral mucositis in patients with head and neck cancer undergoing radiotherapy, according to a study published in Cancer Nursing.

Researchers conducted this randomized, controlled trial to compare a turmeric mouthwash to standard care (benzydamine mouthwash) for oral mucositis….”

Avasopasem Manganese Significantly Reduces IMRT-Induced Severe Oral Mucositis-

“Avasopasem manganese (GC4419) significantly reduced the incidence of severe oral mucositis (SOM) associated with standard-of-care (SOC) intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT) vs placebo for patients with locally advanced head and neck cancer…


Leave a Comment: