Mouth Sores (mucositis)


Mouth Sores (mucositis) are a common side effect of 5-FU chemotherapy treatment.

They are painful and can make eating or swallowing difficult or impossible. Cooling the tissues of the mouth and throat with ice chips before and during administration of chemo helps to prevent mouth sores. Popsicles can help too. However, avoid ice if your treatment includes oxaliplatin (see more about neuropathy.)

“Magic” Mouthwashes

There are several “magic” mouthwashes that can help with pain and healing if sores develop. However, it is unclear how effective these are in treating mucositis. If it is determined by your doctor that these mouthwashes may help you, they will write out the recommended ingredients, along with the amount of each ingredient for you.

Antibiotics may be required if sores become infected.

Content medically-reviewed by members of the Fight Colorectal Cancer Medical Advisory Board, February 2014

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