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Topic: Mouth sores and oral lichen planus

Forum: Managing Side Effects of Breast Cancer and Its Treatment —

This is a place to discuss concerns, tips and strategies for all types of side effects from all types of medications and treatments, (chemo/rads/hormonal/targeted/pain meds/etc.

Posted on: Sep 21, 2011 05:26PM

mkkjd60 wrote:

Hello. My mom is going thru chemotherapy for bc. Before bc she was dxed with oral lichen planus which caused her chronic mouth sores. Now with chemotherapy, it is mouth sores upon mouth sores. Anyone have this condition or can give me their best mouth sore treatments? Thank you

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Sep 29, 2011 09:17PM belleeast wrote:

bump for someone with more experience

Dx 8/5/2011, IDC, 2cm, Stage II, Grade 2, 0/1 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2- Surgery 8/17/2011 Lumpectomy: Right Chemotherapy 9/19/2011 Adriamycin (doxorubicin), Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Taxol (paclitaxel), Taxotere (docetaxel) Radiation Therapy 2/6/2012 Breast
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Sep 29, 2011 09:22PM LuvRVing wrote:

Ask her doctor if Valtrex would help.  It sounds similar to what causes cold sores (herpes simplex).  I had a problem immediately after my first TX.  I told my MO, she put me on Valtrex 500 mg twice a day and that solved the problem.  In the meantime, a solution of a cup of water with 1/2 tsp salt and 1/2 tsp baking soda may provide some immediate relief.

Hugs to you and your mom,


Michelle - read my blog at www.mch-breastcancer.blogspot.com - Be kind to one another! Dx 6/15/2010, IDC, 1cm, Stage I, Grade 3, 0/4 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2- Dx 3/29/2011, IDC, 4cm, Stage IIIB, Grade 3, 4/21 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2- Dx 5/11/2012, IDC, Stage IV, Grade 3, mets, ER-/PR-, HER2-
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Sep 29, 2011 09:46PM lauri wrote:

Mouth sores are common with chemo -- the oncologist should be able to give her some good prescriptions.  Mine prescribed a "magic mouthwash" to be made up by the pharmacy -- part pain-killer, part sore-curer and part Pepto-Bismol. 

On the positive side, I dropped three dress sizes.

From the ashes of disaster grow the roses of success Dx 3/8/2006, ILC, 6cm+, Stage IIIB, Grade 2, 11/12 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Hormonal Therapy Arimidex (anastrozole) Surgery Mastectomy: Left Chemotherapy AC + T (Taxol) Radiation Therapy Whole-breast: Breast
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Sep 30, 2011 09:15PM TenderIsOurMight wrote:

Perhaps this write up through NIH National Libary might help w.r.t. treatment. Keep in mind these are two separate processes, so your mom's doctor must discern if any listed below would be ill-advised in mucositis from chemotherapy.

A.D.A.M. Medical Encyclopedia.

Lichen planus

Last reviewed: October 10, 2010.

Lichen planus is a disease in which there is an itchy rash on the skin or in the mouth. 


The goal of treatment is to reduce your symptoms and speed healing of the skin lesions. If symptoms are mild, you may not need treatment.

Treatments may include:

  • Antihistamines

  • Immune-suppressing medications, such as cyclosporine (in severe cases)

  • Lidocaine mouthwashes -- to numb the area and make eating more comfortable (for mouth lesions)

  • Topical corticosteroids (such as clobetasol) or oral corticosteroids (such as prednisone) -- to reduce swelling and suppress immune responses. Corticosteroids may be injected right into a lesion.

  • Topical retinoic acid cream (a form of vitamin A) and other ointments or creams -- to reduce itching and swelling and aid healing

  • Topical immune-suppressing medications, such as tacrolimus and pimecroliumus -- but lesions must be watched carefully for signs of cancer

  • Dressings may be placed over topical medications to protect the skin from scratching.

  • Ultraviolet light therapy may be helpful in some cases.

  • Oral retinoids (acitretin)



It cannot be emphasized too strongly that treatment of each patient is a highly individualized matter. (FDA-approved labeling for warfarin (Coumadin) NDA 9-218/5-105)
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Sep 30, 2011 11:17PM - edited Sep 30, 2011 11:19PM by Lowrider54

Mouth sores are fun - NOT.  Biotene toothpaste is the only one that does not burn but still need to brush in small sessions - I have discovered that the ACT mouth rinse is better than the biotene so rinse with that and then brush again.  It is so important to keep the teeth clean - more so if you have bone mets and are taking Zometa, Aredia or Xgeva - you do not want to develop jaw necrosis as you will never be able to use any of the bone strengheners again and that would not be good so I have been trying to do the best I can with the mouth.

I have dilaudid to help with the tummy pain so I can eat with the bloating.  Plain water in between bites does flatten out the mouth pain.  Tea is very comforting - camomile and triple tonic - the mints are no good and I have a few left to try - will let you know.  It gives the caffine free drink we need.  Boost too and Ensure - again, no caffine and very soothing when eating. 

Biotene Oral Balance is a gel that 'coats' the mouth - I use those spongy things they give you in the hospital when you are not allowed to eat or drink anything.  I coat the sponge and then coat the tounge, gums, roof of the mouth and inside of the cheeks and top and bottom under the lips.  Finally, a good lip balm applied often.  So far, this seems to be working.  It is pretty natural and not too expensive and does not interfere with any of my drugs and treatment.

If they get worse, I will ask about the Valtrex.  LuvRVing, I had issues at the first treatment too and then a bit worse on the one.   I like the special mix from the pharmacist too!

Hope we all get through this!


Smile...it will make people wonder what you are up to...Initial dx 04/99 - CMF; 9/2009 bone mets Arimidex; 6/2010 Faslodex/Xgeva; 8/2011; abdominal wall invaded, ER/PR flipped to TN, Abraxane/Avastin//Xgeva 09/02/2011; 11/2011Xeloda/Avastin/Xgeva. Dx 9/16/2009, Stage IV, 5/25 nodes, mets, ER-/PR-, HER2-
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Oct 28, 2011 06:41AM fredntan wrote:

and water pic instead of dental floss

MBC bone mets, afinitor,aromasin,xgeva Dx 8/3/2011, IDC, 2cm, Stage IIIA, Grade 2, 13/17 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 9/9/2011 Lymph node removal: Right, Underarm/Axillary; Mastectomy: Right Radiation Therapy 3/29/2012 Breast, Lymph nodes Surgery 10/8/2012 Reconstruction (left): DIEP flap; Reconstruction (right): DIEP flap Surgery 4/3/2013 Reconstruction (left): Nipple reconstruction; Reconstruction (right): Nipple reconstruction Dx 10/2013, Stage IV, mets Chemotherapy 11/20/2013 Abraxane (albumin-bound or nab-paclitaxel), Fluorouracil (5-fluorouracil, 5-FU, Adrucil) Hormonal Therapy
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Oct 28, 2011 06:55AM dogeyed wrote:

Here's an easy one, taught to me by my cancer clinic:  Swish baking soda and water in mouth, spit.  You pour ordinary Arm & Hammer baking soda, like you would salt only like a tablespoon, into half cup lukewarm water, swirl it around in the cup, and start gargling and swishing it in the mouth, spit, swish some more, spit, until it's practically gone.  It will ease the discomfort and keep mouth sores in check.  I used it whenever my mouth got to hurting too much.  Water and salt gargle is fine too.

IBC, IDC, Melanoma/ 5 mos ACT chemo, mastectomy, rads to 11/2011, Arimidex 1 mo, NED 9/2012, two+yr survivor 5/2013 Dx 2/14/2011, IDC, 5cm, Grade 3, 2/11 nodes, ER+
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Nov 27, 2011 10:41AM SheChirple wrote:

I hope you see this, as it has been almost a month since your original post.

In 2006/7 I suffered from lichen planus in the genital area.  This was pre-cancer and non-treatment related.  First, it took 17 doctors almost a year to diagnose.  I was self treating with topical anesthetic (Maximum strength Vagisil 20mg benzocaine and separate Lidocaine), and taking 2 Norco every 4-6 hrs for pain for that entire 10 months! This is very very painful, and feels like 3rd degree burns. When finally diagnosed, I was put on a 30 day regimin of prednisone.  It was cleared within about 10 days.  I finished the course and it has never come back!

I'm not saying the steroids will work for the mouth sores, but .... it took a very special doctor to diagnose me and he was the ONLY one who got any success with this treatment. Life saver, as I was literally suicidal with the pain.

A smile is the most beautiful curve on a woman's body. Dx 10/14/2011, IDC, 1cm, Stage I, Grade 1, 0/6 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 11/28/2011 Mastectomy: Left, Right; Reconstruction (left): Tissue expander placement; Reconstruction (right): Tissue expander placement Surgery 7/23/2012 Reconstruction (left); Reconstruction (right) Surgery 8/14/2012 Reconstruction (right) Surgery 5/24/2013 Reconstruction (left): DIEP flap; Reconstruction (right): DIEP flap Surgery 6/9/2014 Reconstruction (left): DIEP flap; Reconstruction (right): DIEP flap
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Dec 1, 2011 02:18PM sharan77 wrote:

dear mkkjd60: i know im a little late in replying to ur post.... but regarding the mouth sores, i have a friend who had mouth sores due to therapy... she used to use some Evomucy mouthwash and swore it made her feel better.... hope it helps you too... lots of prayers coming ur way...

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