Oral status in patients receiving 5-fluorouracil for colorectal cancer.

Oral complications are frequent and troublesome symptoms for those undergoing chemotherapy for cancer. Several antineoplastic agents are proved to have stomatotoxic potential, among them 5-fluorouracil (5-FU). The aim of the present study was to evaluate the oral status and patient experiences during chemotherapy with 5-FU for colorectal cancer.
Twenty-eight patients treated with 5-day 5-FU plus leucovorin entered this study. Positive data about oral symptoms were taken by anamnesis. Mucositis severity index, gingival index, plaque index, probing pocket depth and bleeding on probing have been used to assess oral mucosa and periodontal status of the patients. Patients were examined prior to chemotherapy and 14 days after the start of the chemotherapy cycle.
Mild to moderate subjective complaints concerning oral cavity were reported by 17.9% of patients before and 39.2% of patients after chemotherapy. Clinical examination revealed oral mucosa damage in 10.7% and 35.7% of patients, with mean mucositis score of 0.14 and 0.54 before and after chemotherapy, respectively. Although mean values of all periodontal indices were elevated after chemotherapy, only increase in gingival index was statistically significant (p=0.035). Mucositis was significantly correlated with oral pain (p=0.00), xerostomia (p=0.00), and plaque index (p=0.077), while the correlation between mucositis and the rest of the examined parameters was not significant.
Oral complications were not highly expressed in this study. Although 5-FU is considered to exert significant stomatotoxic effect, severe mucositis was far less common in this study compared to studies reported elsewhere.
AuthorsM Djuric, S Cakic, M Hadzi-Mihailovic, D Petrovic, L Jankovic
JournalJournal of B.U.ON. : official journal of the Balkan Union of Oncology (J BUON) 2010 Jul-Sep Vol. 15 Issue 3 Pg. 475-9 ISSN: 1107-0625 [Print] Greece
PMID20941813 (Publication Type: Journal Article)
Chemical References
  • Antimetabolites, Antineoplastic
  • Fluorouracil
  • Aged
  • Antimetabolites, Antineoplastic (adverse effects)
  • Colorectal Neoplasms (drug therapy)
  • Female
  • Fluorouracil (adverse effects)
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Periodontal Diseases (chemically induced)
  • Stomatitis (chemically induced)

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