Mouth health and cancer treatment

Mouth health and cancer treatment

Cancer treatment aims to destroy or remove cancer cells. However some cancer treatments can often harm other cells in the body and cause side effects. Treatments that affect the rapidly dividing cancer cells also affect other rapidly dividing cells, such as the cells that line the mouth and gut.

This information is about side effects of chemotherapy, radiation therapy and surgery or a combination of treatments that affect the mouth area. Many people have mouth (oral) side effects even if the cancer is in another part of their body.

Talk to your doctor and health care team about the side effects you may have from your treatment.

Having problems that affect your mouth can be difficult to cope with, but most gradually improve and go away after your treatment is over. There are ways to manage the side effects you may experience.

This information does not replace the advice of a healthcare professional.

Pages in Mouth health and cancer treatment include:

This information was last reviewed in May 2016
View who reviewed this content
View our editorial policy

Support services

Coping with cancer?
Speak to a health professional or to someone who has been there, or find a support group or forum

Cancer Council Online Community
A community forum – a safe place to share stories, get tips and connect with people who understand

Cancer information

Learn more about chemotherapy
Chemotherapy is the use of drugs to kill or slow the growth of cancer cells

What is cancer?
How cancer starts and spreads