Introduction: Head and neck radiotherapy (HNRT) is associated with acute and chronic side effects, some of which result in great morbidity. The aim of this study was to determine the efficacy of low-level laser therapy (LLLT) as an oral care tool for the management of these effects. Materials and Methods: Clinical information was collected from 216 patients undergoing HNRT; these individuals were divided into a control group without laser therapy (n = 108) and a laser group (n = 108). The intervention of the laser group was performed in a different period to the control group and was applied three times weekly. All data were analyzed by a descriptive statistical analysis. Results: The presence and severity of mucositis were similar between the groups. However, the laser group showed a lower frequency of interruption of oncologic therapy related to mucositis (p = 0.030) and the need of nasogastric tube nutrition during the HNRT (p = 0.027). In addition, trismus was less intense in the laser group (p = 0.023). Conclusions: The introduction of laser therapy in the supportive care for patients undergoing HNRT showed benefits for the patient and the medical system, reducing morbidity and costs associated with side-effects.
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- adverse effects
- Head and neck cancer
- oral mucositis