Anesthetic Gel Relieves Discomfort in Patients with Head and Neck Cancer
Head and Neck Cancer
According to a study published in the International Journal of Radiation Oncology, Biology, Physics, use of an oral anesthetic gel relieves the pain experienced by patients with oral mucositis following radiation therapy for head and neck cancer.
Approximately 40,000 people in the U.S. are diagnosed with head and neck cancer every year. Cancers of the head and neck comprise several types of cancer affecting the nasal cavity, sinuses, oral cavity, nasopharynx, oropharynx, and other sites throughout the head and neck.
Oral mucositis refers to inflammation of the oral mucosa (lining of the mouth) that results from chemotherapy or radiation therapy. Symptoms may include redness, swelling, and ulceration. When oral mucositis is severe, patients cannot swallow food or liquid and often have to be given nutrients through a vein. In addition, oral mucositis can cause severe pain, increase the risk of infection, and may limit a patient