What is mucositis?
Mucositis is when the lining of your mouth, rectum or vagina is sore and inflamed. It is a common side effect of chemotherapy and radiotherapy. It develops when cancer treatment, which is killing cancer cells also kills the healthy cells, leading to sores and infection.
What are the types of mucositis?
Oral Mucositis is probably one of the most common complications of cancer treatment1 and means that the lining of your mouth has become sore and inflamed as a result. It can stop you wanting to eat and drink, can make swallowing difficult, cause you to experience dry mouth, and affect your ability to talk.
What are the symptoms of oral mucositis?
The main symptoms of oral mucositis are pain caused by ulcers in the mouth, other symptoms to look out for can include:
- Red, shiny, and swollen areas in the mouth and gums
- Sore areas in the mouth or tongue
- Yellow film covering the mouth
- Pain in the throat
- Dry mouth
- Thicker saliva
Is there anything I can do to prevent it occurring?2
Unfortunately, there is not much that can be done to entirely avoid the effects that cancer treatment has on the mouth. However, while OM is not entirely preventable, there are certain steps that can be taken to ensure that the mouth is as healthy as possible while undergoing treatment.
- Visit your Dentist prior to treatment
OM is worse in the presence of bacteria and other bugs. Ensure your dentist addresses any dental issues you may have before commencing treatment. Gum disease, tooth decay and infections can all increase the severity of OM.
- Maintain a rigorous oral hygiene routine
A strict oral hygiene routine can help to reduce the severity of OM. Brushing your teeth, rinsing and flossing multiple times a day, in particular after eating can help to reduce the risk of infection. Start as you mean to go on and develop an effective dental routine early. This will help you stick to it during your treatment.
- Stop Smoking
If you smoke, it is strongly recommended that you stop, at least during your treatment, as smoking will make it harder for your mouth to heal.
- Eat well
Good nutrition is vital for healthy living and is particularly important when undergoing treatment for cancer. Vitamins and minerals play a key role in helping to reduce the harmful impact of radio and chemotherapy, as well as helping your body to fight infection. It is also advisable to avoid spicy or acidic foods and foods with a crunchy or coarse texture, as all of these can irritate your mouth and gastrointestinal tract.
Proctitis (rectal mucositis)
Actinic proctitis and proctitis are caused as a result of cancer treatment, such as, radiotherapy (actinic proctitis) and chemotherapy (proctitis, which can also be caused by combined treatments of chemotherapy and radiotherapy).
Proctitis is a common side effect of these treatments and can cause the lining of your rectum to become sore and inflamed.
Vulvovaginitis (vaginal mucositis)
Like Proctitis, Vulvovaginitis is a common side effect of cancer treatments, which can cause the lining of your vagina (vaginal mucosa) to become sore and inflamed.
How is mucositis diagnosed?
Your cancer care team will talk to you about the risks of mucositis, and you should make them aware if you think you have it. Your cancer care team will then be able to diagnose mucositis on the appearance, location, and timing of the inflammation.
What is Mucosamin®?
The Mucosamin® range helps to treat and relieve the symptoms of mucositis, whilst helping to protect the healthy oral, vaginal, and rectal tissue lining (mucosa) from damage caused by the cancer treatments, radiotherapy and/or chemotherapy. The products also help to treat and accelerate the healing of ulcerations (lesions) and the oral presentations can also provide effective relief of dry mouth.
The Mucosamin® range
There are four Mucosamin® products in the range, which contain sodium hyaluronate and amino acids.
For oral mucositis, Mucosamin® Mouthwash soothes and protects the oral mucosa, and Mucosamin® Oral Spray provides fast, targeted relief where, and when it is needed. To help relieve the symptoms of dry mouth, whilst providing pain relief and wound healing of oral lesions.6,8
To relieve and treat vulvovaginitis, Mucosamin® Vaginal Cream forms a soothing, protective layer over the mucosa, while Mucosamin® Rectal Gel provides similar protection and symptom relief for the rectal mucosa.
How will Mucosamin® help?
Mucosamin® has been proven to:
- Relieve the symptoms of mucositis3,4
- Provide pain relief4,7
- Support faster healing of damaged tissue (mucosa)5,6