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ORIGINAL RESEARCH Table of Contents   
Year : 2017  |  Volume : 28  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 261-268
Oral changes in patients undergoing chemotherapy for breast cancer

1 Department of Oral Medicine and Radiology, Manipal College of Dental Sciences, Manipal University, Manipal, Karnataka, India
2 Department of Immunology and Clinical Microbiology, Kasturba Medical College, Manipal University, Manipal, Karnataka, India
3 Department of Oncology, Manipal Hospital, Bengaluru, Karnataka, India
4 Department of Community Dentistry, Manipal College of Dental Sciences, Manipal University, Manipal, Karnataka, India

Correspondence Address:
Shruthi Acharya
Department of Oral Medicine and Radiology, Manipal College of Dental Sciences, Manipal University, Manipal - 576 104, Karnataka
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/ijdr.IJDR_379_16

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Background: Breast cancer is one of the most common cancers in India. Most of the patients with breast cancer are treated with chemotherapy which has multiple oral complications. Aims: The objectives of this study were to describe the occurrence of taste disturbances, xerostomia, oral mucositis, oral pigmentation, and candidal and salivary changes among patients receiving chemotherapy for breast cancer. Methods: Fifty-two women with newly diagnosed breast cancer (without distant metastasis), eligible for adjuvant/neoadjuvant chemotherapy (cyclophosphamide and adriamycin, 4 cycles × 3 weeks), were included in this study. All the observations were noted before, during (after 6 weeks of starting chemotherapy), and after the completion of chemotherapy (after 12 weeks of starting chemotherapy). Statistical Analysis Used: Variables such as mucositis, salivary flow rate, salivary pH, and candidal carriage rate were compared at baseline, and at 1st and 2nd follow-ups using Wilcoxon signed-rank test (P value corrected for α for pair-wise comparisons). Results: Mean unstimulated whole salivary flow rate reduced from 0.5 ml/min to 0.3 ml/min, and the mean colony-forming units of Candida reduced from 32.3 × 103 cells/ml to 13.1 × 103 cells/ml at the end of the study period. Xerostomia, taste disturbances, and oral mucosal pigmentation increased from 28.8% to 50%. Conclusions: There was a discernible change in oral mucosal, salivary, and candidal status during the course of the study.

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