Chemotherapy or radiation at a young age can worsen dental health, scientists say

As the survival rate for childhood cancer increases, there is a search for various methods to improve the quality of life after treatment.

Dental health is one of the factors that greatly affects the quality of life. Children with cancer who have received hematopoietic stem cell transplantation to treat it develop abnormal tooth development. A research team at Seoul St. Mary’s Hospital, led by Professors Kim Yoon-Ji from the Department of Orthodontics and Chung Nak-Kyun from the Department of Pediatrics, found that the range of dental anomalies is wider when chemotherapy is started earlier, from a young age.

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The team came to this conclusion after analyzing 153 patients aged 10 years and younger who visited the pediatrics department at Seoul St. Mary’s Hospital, underwent hematopoietic stem cell transplantation, and had a panoramic dental x-ray after stem cell transplantation, writes Korea Biomedical Review .

The team divided them into four groups – under 2.5 years old, 2.6 to 5.0 years old, 5.1 to 7.5 years old, and 7.5 to 10 years old – and examined tooth loss, dwarf teeth and dysplasia. roots in each group.

As a result of the study, the team confirmed that patients who received chemotherapy at a younger age, when tooth development was taking place, had more extensive dental dysplasia.

“We were able to conduct the study because there were many cases of hematopoietic stem cell transplantation at Seoul St. Mary’s Hospital, as well as rich experience in treating dental patients who underwent chemotherapy,” said Professor Kim.

Kim stressed that dental health is important to recovery as it allows patients to eat well and receive nutrients evenly.

“To improve the quality of life after chemotherapy, regular dental check-ups before and after chemotherapy are essential,” she said.

Professor Chang also said: “As a result of analyzing the accumulated data over a long period, this study proved a correlation with abnormal tooth development, suggesting that in the case of hematopoietic stem cell transplantation at a young age in the future, efforts are needed to minimize the impact on tooth development before and after transplantation treatment.

Focus has previously written about how you can starve cancer cells . Recent studies show that arginine is an essential nutrient for cancer cells. And a lack of them could potentially make tumors more vulnerable to the body’s natural immune response.

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