The findings build on anecdotal evidence for the use of rose geranium oil to treat nasal vestibulitis, which affects the lining of the nostrils, causing them to become excessively tender, bleed, and form scabs.
But larger scale research would be needed to see whether the oil could become a viable treatment option, caution the authors.
Nasal vestibulitis is a side effect of cancer drug treatment, and is particularly common in people treated with a class of drugs called taxanes, which stop cell division, and/or vascular endothelial growth factors, or VEGFs for short, which stunt the formation of new blood vessels, so stifling tumour growth.
As yet, there is no recognised treatment for this unpleasant chemotherapy side effect and little guidance for doctors on how best to help affected patients.
Taking their cue from the anecdotal evidence, the authors set out to see if the oil might ease the symptoms of nasal vestibulitis in 40 women on chemotherapy for breast cancer between 2007 and 2017.
Over half (58%) were being treated with taxanes; the rest were being treated with a range of broad spectrum and targeted cancer drugs.
The most common nasal symptoms were bleeding (65%) and discomfort (63%), but
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