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Throat discomfor/pain following radiation therapy

tomhines
Posts: 1
Joined: Apr 2003

Completed radiation therapy 60-days ago(squamous cell of epiglottis) and for the last 30-days my throat has gotten progressively sore. The answers I get from my ENT guy are of the "everyone is different" variety and he is not concerned medically. I am attempting to learn if what I'm experiencing is the norm or not. My throat discomfort now is similar to that midway through the radiation treatments.

KMSikas
Posts: 5
Joined: Apr 2003

Hi Tom-
I had tonsil cancer and completed radiation the end of June, 2002. Chemo until September. My sore throat did not go away until around November. I still have a radiation burn on my tongue that is not healing and can not drink carbonated beverages or acidic food and may have to have it removed next month. But my throat is not longer sore!!! Hang in there! - Kris

Fisherofmen
Posts: 5
Joined: Apr 2003

Dealt with squamous cell of vocal chord back in '92. It is quite normal to have discomfort with your throat area after radiation treatment. I only had 31 days of radiation and I had a lot of trouble eating (I was a "gulper" at the time). I learned to throroughly chew my food and to swallow small portions. My physician gave me some lidocaine (I think that's what it was - it was simply to deaden my throat area) mixed with benadryl (liquid) to take before eating (1 tbsp) to help "deaden" my throat. It helped some, but it was still very uncomfortable for me to eat. Your throat will be sore for quite some time yet, but hang in there, it will get better.

jmelody59
Posts: 5
Joined: Dec 2004

Hi, I was wondering if you have re-experienced hoarsness during and after a cold/flu? I had a cold 3 weeks ago, and I am still having a "rough" time talking.

mha
Posts: 3
Joined: Apr 2003

For throat pain following radiation, there is what we've been told was "Magic Mouth Wash." My husband has 2 formulas: equal amounts of lidocaine, nystatin, and benadryl...or equal amouhts of lidocaine, maalox, and tylenol. He can use a teaspoons every hour if needed to swish and swallow. This really helps the burning of the tongue, roof of mouth, sides of mouth, and gums.

mike64
Posts: 1
Joined: Apr 2003

I had 34 radiation therapy treatments for squamous cell cancer of the left vocal cord. I finished the treatments on or about march 2. about 3/4 of the way thru the treatments I started to experience an uncontrolable cough, it persisted thru the treatments and then got worse, I still have it now almost two months after the end of the treatments, it has gotten much worse and keeps my throat sore, I have it sometimes 12 or 15 times in 24 hrs. I always cough up some phelm before its over which the best I can tell is coming from my sinus's, but sometimes its from the bronchial area. So its hard for me to tell if my throat would still be sore or not.( Has anyone else experienced anything like this after treatment to the throat?. My Carti Dr. says "everybodys different!" which im pretty sure meants he hasen't a clue, and my VA Dr. says it will take 60 days or more for my throat to get well, and then the cough should stop.)

Marvano
Posts: 4
Joined: Apr 2003

Hang in there! I had radical neck surgery for squamous cell cancer of the left tonsil back in June of 2001 followed by 35 radiation treatments. I can honestly say that the dry mouth was much worse than the raw throat. It has been almost two years now and my throat is fine and I am learning to deal with the dry mouth. My ENT says that whatever you have after 18 months is probably what you will always have. As best as I can recall the sore throat was completely gone after about three months from the end of radiation.

blackjack
Posts: 1
Joined: Apr 2003

Tom,
I had tonsil cancer and completed my last radiation treatment 2/3/03- 33 treatments. These treatments really "cook your throat" but is does get better. My throat was really sore but after 90 days with no radiation, I am on the mends and am sure you will be too in time. Good luck!!
Tim

tomalexander
Posts: 16
Joined: Mar 2003

Believe me, I had a terrible time at first, but my treatments stopped about ten months ago, and it keeps gettingprogressively better. I had a lot of trouble swallowing, and had to have my esophagus stretched several times(not near as bad as it sounds), and can now eat annything. Need liquid(milk, water, whatever) to help get it down.

tomalexander
Posts: 16
Joined: Mar 2003

My radiation and chemo stopped ten months ago, and I still have some trouble swallowing. Also get a real drymouth often. Can swallow better now, but had to have esophagus stretched several times. Also need to have liquid(milk, pop, etc) to help. Your symptoms will get better with time. I know thats not what you want to hear, because we probably all want things back to normal almost immediately. I get really impatient sometimes with the slowness of the progress, but at least, it is progress. You really can take heart and realize that you will get better.

dconner
Posts: 1
Joined: Jul 2004

Hell Tom,
I finished with my chemo in April, my radiation in March and had a radical neck disection in May. Now I'm going to have my esophagus stretched. I just wanted to know what to expect. I really would like to get rid of my peg tube and be able to swallow food.
Thanks for the information,
dconner

tomalexander
Posts: 16
Joined: Mar 2003

Had chemo and radiation for squamous cell nasophatangeal cancer, in spring and summer 2002. Treatments stopped in July, 2002, and my throat still sounds like theres a frog in it. Dr said that might or might not change with time. Is not uncomfortable, just not used to the voice change yet, I guess. I can swallowok now, and it continues to get better.
I pray to God you never have to go thru that again, but guess we would if we had to. Radiation has had longrt lasting effects than chemo. Did you get fitted for that mask for your radiation? Man, I hated that thing, but knew it was necessary.
If you need anything, my e mail is mu4ever2000@yahoo.com and my name is Tom Alexander.

cbecker
Posts: 89
Joined: Sep 2002

my husband had a tumor on his piform sinus (throat) 40 aggressive radiation treatments to the throat. He went thru pur hell. Dehydration to over hydrated. very dry mouth, sore the whole nine yards. His throat closed up so they gave him a feeding tube. Ended treatment july 2002 finally in January 2003 he was just starting to eat solids of course after 2 3 throat diluation. Just when things were on the mend then boom it spread to his lungs. Now chemo and the chemo gave him radiation recall which is just like being radiated again. throat is swallen and closing again. on liquids again. we are doing chemo for quality of life. Hang in there, it takes alot of time to heal that throat after all your head was literally put in a microwave. Give it time. Best toyou and God Bless, Candy

GWK
Posts: 3
Joined: May 2003

Hi,

I had cancer of the larynx. I was diagnosed on 10/10/01. I underwent laser surgery and 44 days of radiation treatment. They ended in February of 2002. I did not have any real problems eating, drinking, etc. But, since then, I always have a mild sore throat and my right ear does not drain well. It is tough to get that “air plane pop” to relieve the pressure. The oncologist’s and the ENT’s are all at a loss. The recent CT scan suggests that everything is honky dory. I guess I do not have much to give you other than it seems to get a little better every month. Good luck to you.

sajjad
Posts: 8
Joined: Jun 2003

How are you now? I was diagnosed with larynx cancer in June/2000, had 35 aggressive radiation along with chemo, had big trouble with throat, and I still have occasional problems with throat. So hang in there, your problems will get better. Doctors never know all, but I think effects of radiation take a long time to heal. Don't worry.

ps
Posts: 1
Joined: Sep 2011

I have a big problem with coughing up thick mucous and kind of a gagging episode, does anyone know if this is normal, the doctor could not give me an answer. I cough so hard that the mucous comes up bloody sometime, i finished radiation treatment about 6 weeks ago and get pretty worried, i see my dr. once a month but don't get too many answers

Skiffin16's picture
Skiffin16
Posts: 8185
Joined: Sep 2009

Welcome to the forum PS, tons of great people and survivors here...in various peirods of time, some new, others have been kicking around for many years.

I didn't have the thick mucous you speak of but many here have...it's very normal.

There are suction machines than can help, and I know that others will chime in soon with more information.

Here is a link to the SuperThread that Sweetblood22 (Dawn) has compiled from many posts and research from many on here;

SuperThread

I would also recommend starting a new post (thread) introducing yourself and posting your question there so replies aren't intermingled with this older post.

Best,
John

Hondo's picture
Hondo
Posts: 6139
Joined: Apr 2009

I too would like to welcome you here to CSN, like John said take a look at SuperThread you will find a lot of good info.

Hondo

ssturdy87
Posts: 1
Joined: Oct 2011

I too have this problem and was very worried about the blood in my mucus. My doctor seems as if its "no biggie" however, I can barely stand it. I'm always coughing which turns into gagging which turns into misery. Ask your doctor about a new product called MuGaurd. It just came out this week and I wish it was out when I started this whole mess as it seems to work better than the miracle mouthwash.

ChristineMS
Posts: 4
Joined: Oct 2011

Hello ps,
I am new here just joined today. I just finished my 30 treatments of radiation this past Tuesday. I was diagnosed in June 2011 with Aggresive and Advanced stages of Acinic Cell Carcinoma of the Parotid Gland and Lymph nodes. I had surgery to remove my partid gland and 47 lymph nodes on the left side.
I do have very thick mucous and the gagging episodes. I sometimes have the bloody show also. Sometimes the coughing gets so bad I end up not being able to keep the small amount of food I do eat down. The doctors say it will get better over the next few months.
My throat is sore but mostly for me I do not like the taste in my mouth and it makes it very hard to eat anything but I make myself do small amounts. That usually creates more mucous but hey at least I can eat and I am done with treatments. I will conitue with whatever I have to do from here.
Hang in there I am sure it will get better in time. Take time to heal and take care of yourself.
ChristineMS

Rosie1303
Posts: 1
Joined: Dec 2004

My husband had surgery for throat cancer in June 2004.Dr. removed the epiglottis and small section of tongue as well as some lympnodes. Went through 35 radiation treatments and has been done with them for about 6 weeks now. He has a peg tube for feeding because he cannot swallow food. My question is: Has anyone had problems with an overload of mucus. So much so that he is constantly gagging and coughing. His Dr. says it is from radiation and will go away in time but they will not give him anything to break it up. It is really draining any strength that he has left. Also the Dr. wants to do more surgery so that he will be able to eat. He wants to clip the spincter muscle in the throat. Any help would be greatly appreciated. This has been a real nightmare. Thanks

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