We know managing cancer can be difficult, particularly when side effects impact normal activities such as drinking a glass of water or enjoying a meal with a loved one. Cancer patients going through chemotherapy (chemo) or radiation treatment are vulnerable to gastrointestinal (GI) side effects and often experience painful mouth sores and difficulty swallowing.

Understanding Cancer Treatment Side Effects and Mouth Sores

Mouth soreness (also called stomatitis and mucositis) occurs when the tissues lining the mouth get thin due to treatment-related cellular damage. This happens because treatments such as radiation and chemotherapy act to damage rapidly dividing cells and can’t distinguish between cancerous cells and other rapidly growing cells such as those lining your mouth and GI tract.

The Importance of Managing Side Effect

The ulcers of oral mucositis are reported as the single most painful and debilitating side effect of cancer treatment. Ulcerations can appear along the digestive tract including the lips, cheeks, gums, and tongue, as well as the floor and roof of the mouth. When ulcers become too severe, the pain can limit food intake, negatively impacting nutrient levels.

Oral mucositis ulcerations can also increase the risk of infection; in some cases, these ulcers lead to unplanned hospitalizations and can even prevent patients from completing treatment.

The Benefits of Supplementing with Nutrient Solutions

When we consume foods, our bodies naturally absorb the nutrients needed to support normal cellular function. However, in cancer patients, the body’s ability to absorb nutrients is negatively affected by therapy-related factors. Deficient nutrient levels, particularly amino acids, can decrease our ability to heal and recover.

If you or a loved one are going through cancer treatment, supplementing your diet with targeted solutions that contain nutrients, such as amino acids may help you offset treatment side effects.

How Healios® Can Help

Our first product, Healios®, is a dietary supplement that contains glutamine, a naturally occurring amino acid that helps cell repair. Unlike ordinary glutamine powders, Healios’ special formulation increases glutamine absorption in the cells lining the mouth and the GI tract, promoting the healing process.

If you are experiencing painful mouth sores or difficulty swallowing, talk to your doctor about incorporating Healios into your supportive care plan. The benefits of supplementing with nutrients found in Healios have been clinically demonstrated. 

Helping Those Who Need It Most

Mouth sores are more prevalent in pediatric patients than in adults. Through the generous support of our manufacturing partner, we are able to offer Healios® free to patients under the age of 18 who are most likely to develop mouth sores and experience difficulty swallowing.

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