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Laser Treatment Effective for Mouth Ulcers

Pain levels, healing times improve for common side effect of radiation treatment

WEDNESDAY, April 15 (HealthDay News) -- Low-power laser treatment is effective in treating or preventing oral mucositis, a painful side effect of radiotherapy, in cancer patients, according to a study published online April 3 in Lasers in Surgery and Medicine.

Alyne Simoes, Ph.D., from the Universidade de Sao Paulo in Brazil, and colleagues treated 39 patients who were receiving radiotherapy for head and neck cancer, with laser phototherapy three times a week using a low-power laser, three times a week using combined high- and low-power lasers, or once a week using a low-power laser.

The researchers found that all three regimens were effective in maintaining oral mucositis scores until the last radiation session. Pain levels were maintained in patients who received low-power laser phototherapy three times a week but increased in patients who received the same treatment only once a week. Healing times increased in patients who received phototherapy with combined high- and low-power lasers.

"These findings are desired when dealing with oncologic patients under radiotherapy avoiding unplanned radiation treatment breaks and additional hospital costs," Simoes and colleagues conclude.

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