The prevalence and impact of oral complication in women during chemotherapy after surgery for breast cancer – A cross sectional study

Marlene Jensen, Sasja Jul Haakonsen, Preben Ulrich Pedersen


Background and aim: Mucositis is a well-known side effect to chemotherapy treatment after breast cancer surgery. The number of women who experience oral complication that is not classified as mucositis is less investigated as well as the impact of oral complication on the women’s quality of life. \textit{Aim:} To describe how many women with breast cancer report oral complications during their adjuvant chemotherapy with Ebirubicin, Cyclophosphamide and Taxotere or Taxol, to describe which oral complications the women report and the impact the oral complication has on women’s daily life and quality of life.

Methods: A cross-sectional design was used. The women were invited to fill out a self-composed questionnaire at proximal 12 weeks after initiation of the treatment. The questionnaire had two scales to summarize information about oral complication and their impact on daily living was used. The questionnaire has been face- and content validated. Internal consistency was between 0.76 to 0.83.

Results: All 101 women had experienced oral complications to some extent. A linear regression analysis has reviled that redness, coaching and changes of taste explained 74% of reported reduction in quality of life. There was a positive correlation between the sum of symptoms (number of symptoms and duration) and reported quality of life score r = .480 (p = .000).

Conclusions: Oral complications was experienced by all women who were treated with CT after breast cancer surgery. Redness, coaching and changes of taste were significant contributors to reducing quality of life and need to be prevented during chemotherapy.

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Journal of Nursing Education and Practice

ISSN 1925-4040 (Print)   ISSN 1925-4059 (Online)

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