Posted by: Sam | 2020/03/19


Mouth Thrush due to Chemotherapy

Hi, my mom is currently receiving chemotherapy. She has developed mouth thrush as well as difficulty swallowing. What medication or treatment can be used for this please?

Expert's Reply


Cancer expert
- 2020/03/30

Dear Sam, mouth thrush is usually referred to as oral mucositis caused by Candida (which is a type of yeast fungus). It grows in the lining of the mouth and throat usually as a result of a weakened immune system, following on cancer treatment (usually chemotherapy). It can be very painful and may cause a lot of discomfort. It often begins about five days after chemotherapy began and may last up to seven to fourteen days.

One should NOT do any of the following:

·        Do not smoke

·        Do not use mouthwashes or sprays

·        Refrain from eating acidic foods such as lemons, oranges and tomatoes

·        Do not eat hot, spicy or salty foods

·        Do not eat crunchy or anything hard like crisps

·        Do not drink fizzy drinks, alcohol and tea and coffee

·        Do not take pain killers without discussing this with your treating physician or oncologist

Let you Mother try the following:

Suck on crushed ice or ice lollies

Rinse mouth with warm water (with a little bit of salt added) several times a day especially after having taken anything by mouth

Brush teeth with a very soft toothbrush at least twice a day

Floss regularly

Eat soft foods that are moist (add bland gravy and sauces to food)

Drink plenty of water

Chew sugar-free gum to keep the mouth moist

Consult your Mother’s oncologist or pharmacist


The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical exmanication, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.

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