Dental faculty help develop resource for cancer patients’ oral health


San Antonio (Nov. 16, 2004) – Several Dental School faculty members at The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio made significant contributions to a newly released monograph for dentists treating cancer patients.

The second edition of Oral Health in Cancer Therapy: A Guide for Health Care Professionals is a 62-page text developed by the statewide Dental Oncology Education Program, a component of the Texas Cancer Council. This monograph was supported by grants from the Texas Cancer Council and the Academy of General Dentistry Foundation. Topics range from the effects of chemotherapy, bone marrow transplant, and head and neck radiation therapy to nutritional support of cancer patients, management of acute oral pain and special considerations for pediatric patients.

Spencer W. Redding, D.D.S., M.Ed., professor of general dentistry, served as one of the three editors with V. Kendrell Rankin, D.D.S., and Daniel L. Jones, D.D.S., Ph.D., both of Baylor College of Dentistry, a component of the Texas A&M University System Health Science Center. Contributing authors from the Health Science Center general dentistry department were Laurie L. Bradley, D.D.S., assistant professor; Carl W. Haveman, D.D.S., M.S., associate professor; and Stephanie R. Jackson, D.D.S, assistant professor who since has moved to practice in a community health center in the Lower Rio Grande Valley. Dr. Jones, from Baylor, previously was a faculty member in the Health Science Center department of community dentistry.

The authors note that about a third of the 1.2 million Americans diagnosed with cancer each year will suffer oral complications from their cancer treatments. “Oral infections involving the teeth should be managed prior to the initiation of cancer therapy, as these infections could cause serious morbidity and even mortality in selected patients,” Dr. Redding said. “Also, oral soft tissue infections such as with Candida, a species of yeast, and herpes simplex virus commonly occur during cancer therapy. These topics, among many others, are extensively covered in the monograph.”

The monograph is available to any dentist in Texas through the Dental Oncology Education Program

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