Patient questions

Do all cancer treatments cause mouth and throat sores? If not, can I take the ones that do no cause mouth and throat sores?

No, not all cancer treatments cause mouth and throat sores. However, some chemotherapy medicines will cause mouth sores.

You should ask your doctor if the chemotherapy medicine you will given is one of those that will cause mouth sores.

If radiation is given to the head and neck area, mouth and throat sores and pain are common.It will depend on how long your radiation treatment lasts and the dose amount that you will receive. The length of time of the mouth sores varies with each person.

Your healthcare provider will decide which cancer treatment that will be best for you.

Always talk to your healthcare provider if you have questions or you donít understand, he/she is there to help you through this challenging time.

How can I maintain my body weight and eat if my mouth and throat hurts and is hard to swallow?

There are many nutritious foods which you can eat. Stick to foods that are soft (such as pasta or pudding), nutritious drinks/shakes; stay away from crusty (toast, hard cookies) and spicy foods and acidic drinks (orange juice). Even though it hurts, it is very important to eat highly nutritious foods.

How long does it take for the mouth and throat sores to go away after my cancer treatment is done?

Everyone heals differently.

If you are receiving RT, sores will not begin right away and may not go away until 6 months after treatment is ended.

If you are receiving chemo, whether or not to get mouth sores depends both on the type of chemo drugs you get how your low your white count gets during your therapy. Mouth sores usually heal between cycles of therapy.
It is important to talk to your cancer care team about medicine that can help with mouth and throat sores.

This includes talking with your dental provider.

I have bad teeth and gums. Will the cancer treatments hurt my mouth or damage my weakened teeth?

Yes, there is a possibility the radiation treatment could damage the weakened teeth. This is because the blood becomes restricted and less able deliver nourishment to the vital (live) teeth.

To battle cancer treatment best you must include regular visits to the dentist and dental hygienist as part of your cancer care.

It is very important not to start treatment until you have received dental treatment for your bad teeth and gums.

Keeping the dental provider in the circle of care will help protect your mouth, teeth, and jaw bones during cancer treatment.

Will the mouth and throat sores upset my stomach?

The mouth and throat sores usually will not upset your stomach.

The upset stomach could be from the chemotherapy medicines.
You will have to be more aware of the foods you eat because of the sensitivity of your mouth.

top of page