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Nutrición Hospitalaria

On-line version ISSN 1699-5198Print version ISSN 0212-1611


PEREIRA, Luciano J. et al. Oral physiology and quality of life in cancer patients. Nutr. Hosp. [online]. 2015, vol.31, n.5, pp.2161-2166. ISSN 1699-5198.

Introduction: Cancer treatment can affect the health of the teeth and support structures, which are essential to the chewing process, which may change the nutritional status of the patient. Objective: The aim of this study was to evaluate the impact of oral physiology changes on quality of life (QoL) of patients submitted to cancer treatment. Design: Initially 84 cancer patients were screened and only those presenting at least 15 natural teeth were selected for oral physiology and quality of life tests. The final sample comprised 30 patients. Twenty subjects were selected as controls paired by age and gender. Dental caries status, salivary flow, masticatory performance (MP), location of tumor, duration of chemo and radiotherapy and World Health Organization Quality of Life (WHOQOL- bref) questionnaire were assessed. Linear regression models were used to test the relationship between the WHOQOL-bref domains (physical, psychological, social relationship, environmental and overall QoL) and independent variables under study. Results and Discussion: Number of teeth, MP and salivary flow were lower in cancer patients, as well as for the scores obtained in Social Relationship, Environment and Overall QoL domains (p<0.050). Breast cancer caused a negative impact on Psychological (p<0.001) and Overall QoL scores (p=0.017). A similar negative effect was found for the duration of radiotherapy on Psychological (p=0.012) and Environmental (p=0.039) domains. On the other hand, the maintenance of teeth had a positive impact on Psychological (p=0.012) and Environmental (p=0.024) scores. Conclusion: Oral physiology changes may impact the QoL of oncological patients. The maintenance of teeth was of positive importance, especially for the psychological aspects.

Keywords : Chemotherapy; Masticatory Performance; Quality of life; Oncology; Taste.

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