• To obtain an overview of the common oral complications of cancer treatment
• To develop an optimal treatment plan for patients with oral complications after cancer treatment
• To count towards revalidation as part of your 35 hours of CPD, or you may wish to write a reflective account (UK readers)
• To contribute towards your professional development and local registration renewal requirements (non-UK readers)
Oral complications arising from cancer or its treatment, such as mucositis and dry mouth, are common. In the general cancer setting, oral complications can be expected in at least 50% of patients undergoing chemotherapy or targeted therapy to treat a solid tumour. In patients with head and neck cancers and in those undergoing haematopoietic stem cell transplantation, the incidence is much higher. Oral complications can cause distress, malnutrition and/or dehydration, inability to sleep, delays to treatment, long-term complications and increased morbidity. However, they are not inevitable and a planned, proactive team approach to oral care can assist in preventing them or in reducing their incidence and severity.
This article provides an overview of optimal oral care in the cancer setting, covering assessment, identification of risk factors, patient education, optimal care of the oral cavity, preventive measures and treatment options.
Cancer Nursing Practice. doi: 10.7748/cnp.2020.e1706Peer review
This article has been subject to external double-blind peer review and has been checked for plagiarism using automated software
Quinn BG, Campbell F, Fulman L et al (2020) Oral care of patients in the cancer setting. Cancer Nursing Practice. doi: 10.7748/cnp.2020.e1706
Acknowledgement This article is based on the work of the United Kingdom Oral Management in Cancer Group (UKOMiC), a multiprofessional group of oral care experts working in dentistry, oncology and haematology across the UK
Published online: 15 June 2020
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