Throat cancer and oral mucositis

Posted on 12 April 2021

Oral mucositis (OM) is a painful and debilitating side effect of cancer therapy that affects a large proportion of cancer patients. 

Photobiomodulation (PBM) is recommended by the Multinational Association for Supportive Cancer Care and International Society of Oral Oncology (MASCC/ISOO) for the management of OM and related pain. It can improve a broad range of complications, and has an important role in supportive care. 

Read how this therapy helped Mark Johnson manage his OM:

“I was diagnosed with throat and lymph cancer towards the end of 2020.

The initial treatment was a 7 week program of daily radiation and once weekly Chemo.

My dentist suggested I consider PhotoBioModulation as part of the therapy to try and control the severe oral mucositis that apparently always accompanies this treatment.

I was referred to Laser Therapy Sydney and commenced a program with them immediately.

My cancer doctors were not too interested in the treatment but had no objections.

What they did agree was that I came through the extremely difficult period in better oral and general condition than anyone they’d previously treated.

I know that in many parts of the world the Thor system is a standard part of treatment for head and neck radiation, I would strongly recommend anyone undergoing it should also include photobiomodulation as part of the program.”

– Mark Johnson

Mark received 70 Gray of radiation over the course of his treatment which is at the upper end of the radiation dose that can be given. Through daily use of the PBM with the Thor Photomedicine LX2 handheld unit over the mouth, cheeks and neck and an intraoral ‘lollipop’ he managed to limit the destruction of the oral lining and salivary glands in his mouth.

In the last weeks of treatment he developed a severe ulcer on his right cheek and another on his tongue. That is surprising in and of itself as the majority of head and neck cancer patients would have had numerous bouts of ulcers and be tube feed by this stage. Together with thrice weekly sessions of the NovoTHOR lightbed he managed the fatigue, pain, radiation dermatitis, dysgeusia and loss of appetite that normally accompanied high dose chemo-radiotherapy. 

Mark has made a complete recovery and after follow up scans in March 2021 was found to be cancer free.

Please consult your physician to see if photobiomodulation therapy is suitable to help manage the side effects of chemotherapy or radiotherapy.