Oral mucositis and dental issues during therapy... and CURE's first Facebook chat!

On April 12, we are going to have our first ever Facebook chat with Dennis Abbott, DDS, the founder and CEO of Dental Oncology Professionals of North Texas, an oral medicine practice dedicated to meeting the unique dental and oral health needs of patients battling cancer. I met Dr. Abbott when a former student of mine looked me up to tell me he was doing public relations for a dentist who specialized in oncology. I was intrigued, and it was great to hear from my former student, Norberto, who graduated in the early '90s and had worked tirelessly since then for nonprofit organizations as he worked to make the world a better place. After doing some research with Dr. Abbott and others in the field, we decided to do a story on oncology dentistry and had a big response from our readers. We had a number of readers say something along the lines of "It's about time you talked about dental issues."My interest came from the fact that I suffered a lot from oral mucositis during chemotherapy. Oral mucositis is that nasty side effect that causes your mouth to fill with little blisters. My mom used to call them canker sores, and it felt like I had a mouth full of them. The only thing that had any impact on it at all was liquid novacaine, which I kept in my mouth as much as I could. When I tried to eat it was impossible, and talking was out of the question, which for me was really hard. I couldn't sleep because I had to spit out the novacaine, and I would wake myself up and not be able to go back to sleep. When talking to Dr. Abbott about mucositis before the story, he told me about how he treats it now and just the compassion in his voice made me feel that today's cancer patients were getting lots of care that we didn't get in the '80s when they didn't know what to do other than try to kill the pain.Some patients face losing their teeth and others have bad teeth going into treatment, which can impact their health directly. To participate inCURE 's Facebook chat and to hear what Dr. Abbott has to say join us on April 12 at 12 p.m. CT (1 p.m. ET/ 10 a.m. PT). You can RSVP for the event here.