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Mouth Sores or Sorness from 5-FU

cph1127's picture
Posts: 51
Joined: Jun 2011

Hi everybody,

I posted something on another discussion concerning mouth sores and had a reply that they liked the way my doctor explained it and that they had learned something new. I don't know if I have exceptional doctors or if I just keep asking the right questions but I think I will share stuff like this with everyone.

On the the day they removed my pump my mouth felt different and then the next day it was completely white looking inside. I thought I had thrush but when I went to Dr. Frasier (Rad Dr) he said it was the side effects from the 5-FR.

Get this - it is interesting. Dr. Ballou (Onco Dr) explained it this way.

The chemo drug 5-FU is a drug that kills colon cancer. Anyone who has colon, rectum or anal cancel gets this drug. It's mission is to attack the skin cells (cancer and some good cells)in the colon. Here is the kicker: The inside of our mouth has the same skin cells that are in our colon. I did not know that. So now it makes perfect since to me that the top layer of skin in my mouth is dying and rolling off. He told me that the same thing happening in my mouth was happening in my colon. He told me that if a have a bad spot to treat it just like a canker sore with over the counter meds. I also used a q-tip (wet) to help get the dead skin off. Sometimes my gums would bleed a little but I would follow up with a rinse of salt water. Dr Ballou said that the worst was over and that I would start healing but it might take 3-7 more days.

He also said that it does not affect everyone the same way but usually you will get some type of reaction from it. He told me that the swish and swallow will not help me but I am using the soda and salt rinses.

It is not almost a week later and I am still loosing a little skin but I am OK with it because I understand what my body is doing. It makes all the difference in the world if you know what to expect.

Love and Prayers to All of You <3<3<3

mp327's picture
Posts: 4126
Joined: Jan 2010

Thank you so much for sharing this with us. Your doctor explained it to you in a way I've never heard before, but makes perfect sense. I lost skin in my mouth too. I never really had sores, per se, but sloughing of skin and I also had thrush. It was miserable for awhile. I'm glad you are doing better!

z810840b's picture
Posts: 212
Joined: Jan 2010

i have read of so may cases of people getting mouth sores while having treatment.I was so lucky..I didnt get any..Dont know why.Hugs alyse

Wade James
Posts: 3
Joined: Jun 2012

Good comment cph1127 on mouth sores. Gargling with a baking soda rinse (1/2 teaspoon baking soda to coffee mug size water volume) definitely helped speed my recovery from sores in the back of my mouth/top of my throat resulting from 5FU infusion. I am commenting on your comment because I wanted to include a recommendation for sores on the tongue resulting from 5FU : Colgate Peroxyl : http://www.colgate.com/app/Colgate/US/OC/Products/OverTheCounter/ColgatePeroxyl.cvsp
Colgate Peroxyl is a ready-to-use diluted hydrogen peroxide rinse which a nice Target pharmacist recommended. Directions on label suggested 4 times a day for a week. I followed pharmacist's recommendation : 2 times a day and stuck to the one week use directive.

Posts: 563
Joined: Apr 2011


Welcome to the group.

Wade James
Posts: 3
Joined: Jun 2012

Thanks Phoebesnow

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