A correlation between radiation doses to submandibular glands and the output saliva of those glands has been documented, in the largest study to date.
The ancient Chinese medical practice can relieve the symptoms of dry mouth in patients undergoing radiotherapy, according to the largest trial yet to investigate this effect. Radiotherapy for head and neck cancer often produces this unpleasant and distressing side effect because patients' salivary glands are damaged by radiotherapy.
Acupuncture has been shown to be effective for radiation-induced xerostomia in a small pilot study. It involved 19 patients who received acupuncture twice a week for four weeks and were assessed using xerostomia inventory and patient benefit questionnaire scores.
Xerostomia is a common symptom in oncology and palliative medicine, and because it can cause distress to patients, it warrants careful attention
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