Purpose: The mitotic rate of the gastrointestinal tract (GIT) mucosa predisposes the entire system to chemotherapeutic-induced mucositis but the oral cavity due to its accessibility provides an opening to evaluate the extent of the problem much more easily. In addition, the oral cavity being the gateway to the GIT affects the feeding ability of the patient when the ulcers set in.
It is therefore from this perspective that we embarked on a study to evaluate the extent of mucositis among patients being treated for solid tumours at our centre.
Methods: Using the mouth and throat soreness (OMDQ MTS) questionnaire, we prospectively evaluated mucositis among 100 patients undergoing chemotherapy for solid tumours at the Uganda Cancer Institute. In addition to patient reported outcomes, we also had clinician assessed mucositis measurements.
Results: Approximately, 50% of the participants were breast cancer patients. The results demonstrated that patient assessment of mucositis is possible in our setting at a 76% full compliance rate. Up to 30% of our patients reported moderate-to-severe mucositis, though the figure was lower as assessed by the clinicians.
Conclusions: The self-reported OMDQ MTS can be useful in our setting for daily mucositis evaluation, hence leading to timely hospital visits before the manifestation of severe complications.