Cancer Therapy: A Continuance of Health Burden

Sowmya Kasetty, Samar Khan, Sudheendra U Shridhar, Sandeep Gupta, Manisha Tijare, Shreenivas Kallianpur, Raju Ragavendra T


Background: Cancer diagnosis coupled with emotional impact converge to create one of the most difficult physical and emotional periods of life. Cancer treatment causes plethora of short and long term complications which can be so debilitating that patient may interrupt treatment. Pretreatment oral assessment and supportive oral care during and after cancer therapy can increase quality of life and supportive care costs.

Methods: Study was conducted on 189 patients (86: head and neck cancer cases, group I and 103: other than head and neck cancer cases, group II) receiving cancer therapy. Patients were subjected to clinical assessment and findings were recorded in specially designed proforma and complete oral (objective and subjective) and constitutional findings were recorded.

Results: Among the patients undergoing chemotherapy in both groups, prevalence of oral findings was found to be highest with methotrexate whereas constitutional symptoms was found to be highest with doxyrubicin. Whereas in radiotherapy patients subjective and objective oral symptoms increased from 10th - 30th fractionated dose of radiations and then subsequently decreased and constitutional symptoms were found to be consistent in all fractionated dosages with lowest at 50th fraction. Under combined chemo and radiotherapy patients, constitutional symptoms were highest than the oral findings.

Conclusions: Cancer therapy can greatly damage the normal tissues and diminish patients quality of life and often leads to serious clinical sequelae. Therefore, therapy induced damage should be anticipated and prevented whenever possible and managed early.

World J Oncol. 2012;3(5):205-209


Cancer; Therapy; Health burden

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