Effects of chemotherapy on the oral health in paediatric oncology patients at the Kenyatta National Hospital
Gohil, T. R.
Mutave, R. J.
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Aim: To determine the most prevalent oral adverse effects faced by children undergoing chemotherapy treatment. Study design: A descriptive cross sectional study, conducted at the Kenyatta National Hospital. Materials and methods: A total of 42 paediatric oncology patients at the Kenyatta National Hospital wards and oncology out-patient clinics were included in the study. The principal investigator conducted a clinical examination and collected data using a questionnaire. Results: Majority of the patients examined were male, and the predominant cancer was acute lymphocytic leukemia with a prevalence of 28.6%. This finding contradicts a previous study, which mentions Burkitts lymphoma to be the most prevalent cancer among children around this region. The oral diseases which were most prevalent were dental caries (45%), followed by ulceration (40.5%) and mucositis (33.3%). Vincristine, cyclophosphamide, adriamycin and methotrexate are the drugs which cause the most adverse effects in the oral cavity. Conclusion: Thus, it is necessary that patients are educated on the importance of oral hygiene. Further studies need to be carried out rega rding the hig h prevalence of denta I caries a nd the predominance of acute lymphocytic leukaemia among the children at the Kenyatta National Hospital.