A critical assessment of oral care protocols for patients under radiation therapy in the regional University Hospital Network of Madrid (Spain).

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A critical assessment of oral care protocols for patients under radiation therapy in the regional University Hospital Network of Madrid (Spain).

J Clin Exp Dent. 2015 Dec;7(5):e613-e621

Authors: Lanzós I, Herrera D, Lanzós E, Sanz M

Abstract
BACKGROUND: This research was aimed to critically evaluate, under the light of the available scientific evidence, the oral care protocols recommended by different hospitals in head and neck cancer (HNC) patients under radiation therapy.
MATERIAL AND METHODS: A questionnaire requesting all the relevant information for the oral care of these patients was sent to the 9 University Hospitals in Madrid. The answers were categorized and analyzed. In addition, an electronic search was conducted to identify the most relevant papers (systematic reviews [SR] and randomized clinical trials [RCTs]) assessing oral care protocols for patients treated for HNC with radiation therapy.
RESULTS: Eight out of nine centers answered the questionnaire and the retrieved information was tabulated and compared. These recommendations were analyzed by a computerized search on MEDLINE and the Cochrane Oral Health Collaboration Database. The results of the analysis clearly shown a great heterogeneity, in terms of oral health care protocols, regarding the management of irradiated patients (for HNC) within the Hospitals of Madrid region. In addition, some of the recommendations lack solid scientific support.
CONCLUSIONS: The present survey revealed that the recommendations provided by the different hospitals were clearly different. The available evidence, supported by SR and RCTs, suggested the need of an oral assessment before cancer treatment, in order to prevent and treat dental pathologies and avoiding potential complications; during cancer treatment, it is relevant monitoring the patient in order to decrease the severity of the side effects, and to avoid any tooth extraction or surgery and special attention should be paid to mucositis, xerostomia and candidiasis; after cancer treatment, the following are relevant aspects: the risk of osteoradionecrosis, trismus, caries and the risks associated to dental implants. Key words:Head and neck cancer, supportive care in cancer, radiotherapy complications, management and oral care on cancer treatment.

PMID: 26644838 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]