Coping with Mouth Sores (Mucositis) in Childhood Cancer

mucositisSymptom Management, Palliative Care, or Supportive Care to relieve side-effects is an important part of cancer care and treatment and should always form part of the overall treatment plan.

Mucositis is swelling inside the mouth and throat that can lead to painful ulcers and mouth sores.

There are several possible causes of mouth sores related to cancer and cancer treatment. Understanding the cause may help you and your health care team manage this side effect.

  • Chemotherapy. Up to 40% of people receiving chemotherapy experience mouth sores.
  • Radiation therapy to the head and neck area
  • Bone marrow/stem cell transplant. Mouth sores are a possible sign of graft-versus-host disease, which is a side effect of these procedures.

The best way to manage mouth sores is to prevent them or treat them early. Here are some suggestions and options for preventing and treating mouth sores:

  • Suck on ice chips immediately before and during each chemotherapy treatment. This may prevent mucositis caused by certain types of chemotherapy.
  • Your child’s doctor may recommend specific pain-relief strategies if they develop mouth sores, including a mouthwash solution that contains lidocaine; over-the-counter drugs, such as Tylenol; or prescription pain medicine


It is important that you DO NOT give your child aspirin during cancer treatment unless your doctor tells says it is alright.

It is also wise to take special care of your child’s mouth during cancer treatment. The following suggestions below may help.

Take your child to visit an oncologic dentist before starting treatment if they will be receiving radiation therapy to the head and neck. An oncologic dentist is experienced in treating people with head and neck cancer. 


Read more about the Effects, Signs and Symptoms, Causes, Diagnosis and Treatment and more regarding Mucositis on our static page, Mouth Sores (Mucositis) in Childhood Cancer



About LFCT

This is a blog about CHILDHOOD CANCER and CHILDHOOD CANCER AWARENESS Little Fighters Cancer Trust is a non-profit organisation that offers support and aid to Children with Cancer and their families. When a child is diagnosed with cancer it affects the whole family. One of the parents, usually the mother, must give up their job to care for the child and this creates financial problems for the family. In South Africa especially the majority of these families are not well-to-do; many of them are rural. A diagnosis of cancer can wipe out any family’s finances, let alone a poor family. The costs of special medications, special diets, hospital stays, transport to and from the hospital or clinic and accommodation and food costs for the mother who spends most of the time at her child’s bedside are astronomical. These are the people and problems that fall through the cracks, and these are the people that Little Fighters Cancer Trust has pledged to help in any way possible. LFCT takes a holistic approach to assisting the Children with Cancer and their Families, with the main aim to be the preservation of individual dignity and pride. Little Fighters Cancer Trust also focuses on promotion and advocacy of National Childhood Cancer Awareness in an effort to increase awareness of Early Warning Signs of Childhood Cancer. This would result in earlier diagnosis, giving the Child with Cancer more of a chance at Treatment and Survival. See "About" for more Background info

Posted on 27 June, 2016, in Blog and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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