Tobacco use in various forms, heavy alcohol consumption and poor diet causes over 90% of head and neck cancers. Bidi smoking is the most popular form of tobacco consumption in 54% cases and is the most common etiology in Head and Neck Carcinomas. ICMR data suggests the male predilection and its increasing incidence in age groups more than 50 year. Definitive radiotherapy is the mainstay of the treatment and oral mucositis is the most common complication. Various predisposing factors predict the mucositis incidence in head and neck cancer patients receiving treatment.
Material and Methods: The study was conducted 150 Head & neck cancer patients receiving radiation dose more than or equal to 56 gray, weekly concomitant chemoradiation in the form of Cis-platinum, Gemcitabine or Paclitaxel alternating with Gemcitabine. Results were compiled as mean ± standard deviation or percentage.
Results: Smoking either as bidi or cigarette is the leading form of addiction, 78% (117/150), in the series. Alcohol consumption was noticed in 51.33% (77/150) of cases. Tobacco chewing (in any form) was also noticed in 46.67% (70/150). Opium addiction was recorded in 17.33% (26/150). Most of the patients presented with chief complaint of non healing ulcer in the oral cavity along with the neck swelling (96 patients). Neck swelling was the one of the chief complaint in 89 patients of the series.
Conclusion: Severe mucositis was observed more in smokers, alcoholics, diabetics, opium addicts and patients having bad ODH. Most patients present with the primary in tongue either at base or lateral border, followed by alveolus/ buccal mucosa. Anemia was the most commonly observed associated pre-treatment factor, seen in more than half of the patients.