Chemo Secrets From a Breast Cancer Survivor

Breast Cancer Survivors

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1. Alternative analgesic therapy is necessary for patients requiring opi-oid analgesics.

2. A chlorhexidine mouth rinse before and during chemotherapy may help to reduce the severity of mucositis.

3. Palliative therapy may be necessary for the treatment of oral side effects.

4. Apply a lubricant to the patient's lips prior to the dental appointment as a comfort measure.

5. Patients who are undergoing active chemotherapy may require WBC count checks. These medications lower WBC counts and this could prove hazardous in patients requiring dental treatment that may produce wounds.

6. Monitor vital signs at every appointment because of cardiovascular side-effects.

7. Decreased saliva flow can put the patient at risk for dental caries, perio-dontal disease, and candidiasis.

8. Patients on chronic drug therapy may develop blood dyscrasias. Symptoms include fever, sore throat, and bleeding, and poor wound healing.

9. A semisupine position for the dental chair may be necessary to help minimize or avoid GI effects of

the disease.

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