- Cancer Information
- Living well
- Nutrition and cancer
- Treatment side effects and nutrition
- Mouth sores
Chemotherapy and radiation therapy can damage the cells lining the mouth and digestive tract, leading to ulcers and infections. This is known as oral mucositis. A sore can form on any soft tissue in your mouth, and make it painful to eat and swallow.
Your doctor can give you medicines to reduce pain and discomfort when you eat or drink. Some medicines can be applied directly to the mouth sores to numb them.
To reduce discomfort, eat softer foods. You may need to avoid hot, cold, salty, spicy or acidic foods and drinks. Mucositis usually gets better a few weeks or months after treatment ends.
Podcast for people affected by cancer
Download a PDF booklet on this topic.
Jacqueline Baker, Senior Oncology Dietitian, Chris O’Brien Lifehouse, NSW; Lauren Atkins, Advanced Accredited Practising Dietitian, OnCore Nutrition, VIC; Dr Tsien Fua, Head and Neck Radiation Oncology Specialist, Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre, VIC; Rosemerry Hodgkin, 13 11 20 Consultant, Cancer Council WA; Clare Hughes, Manager, Nutrition Unit, Cancer Council NSW; John Spurr, Consumer; Emma Vale, Senior Dietitian, GenesisCare, SA; David Wood, Consumer.
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