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1 Month Post Radiation - Larynx

afendakis
Posts: 2
Joined: Jan 2004

I am a 44 year male diagnosed with T1 Squamous Cell Carcinoma of the left Vocal Chord. Non Smoker - occassional wine drinker. Initial ENT thought it was a wart. 99% Certain it was not cancer. Ooops Wrong. They removed it surgically thinking it was a wart. Followed this up 6 weeks later with 28 radiation treatments.

My radiation treatments focused soley on the larynx, in other words my jaw, teeth, face were spared. These completed Dec 2003. It is now Jan 2004. Here are my questions - I would like to know if anyone else has experienced these.

a) I have a post nasal drip sensation a lot of the time
b) When I go to bed and lay my head back I get a tickle in my throat that makes me cough. It isn't horrible but when I tell my oncologist she just shrugs her shoulders.
c) I occassionally get a sensation in my ear..not really painful but something like a little pressure in my ear.
d) My sinuses feel "heavy" like a dull ache but not painful just kind of odd

I am curious to see if anyone else runs into these things..cause I don't want my mind racing all the time thinking there is something to be concerned about if there is not.

My last endoscope was 3 weeks ago and everything looked fine. I worry sometimes that the doctors aren't particularly thorough - this paranoia probably came about because of the initial Dr. telling 99% sure it isn't cancer.

Thanks - Michael

LindaG
Posts: 1
Joined: Jan 2004

Hi Michael,

I am 44 and was diagnosed October 2002 with throat cancer. I actually went in for an emergency appendectomy and when they tried to pull out the scope, they got a black, bloody tumor growing off one of my tonsils. I am also a non-smoker - occasional drink. No explanation, could be hereditary. I have not experienced your symptoms but know that anything is possible from radiation and/or chemo. I am now, 1 year and a few months past the diagnosis and have lost all feeling in my hands and arms. It is like they are "sleeping" 24/7. It is hard to dress, eat, write, type (lots of backspacing!). I hope that you are able to get some answers to your issues, don't be discouraged, get another opinion. This is your life and you have every right to ask all these questions to your doctors. I have been very fortunate with my physicians - they are still helping me, in a week I will see a neurologist? They feel that some nerve damage was done with the radiation. Good luck to you - think healthy thoughts - and congratulations on living!

gmon
Posts: 3
Joined: Dec 2003

My mum also has a Squamous Cell Carcinoma but on the right Vocal Chord. She is doing radiation therapy and she did 3 weeks till now(3 more weeks left). She is complaining that she is having tickle in her troath that makes her cough when she is in bed. This is the same symptom you have. Let me ask you a question, during the treatment did your voice get worst? My mum voice is really getting worst at this stage.

Good luck

Godfrey

afendakis
Posts: 2
Joined: Jan 2004

godfrey..The radiation treatment for me was not really that bad until the last week. My throat got sore around day 15 and then it got pretty bad around day 20..but I got used to it. I was lucky cause I had really no problem eating or drinking anything. The last week was kind of hard.

One thing I noticed toward the end of the treatment was I started to cough up this kind of phelgmy gunk..especially after I sneezed. This would be followed by just a little bit of blood. The doctor said this was normal.

I didn't realize at the time how tired I was...now that im not having treatment it is crystal clear that I was pretty bushed.

My voice did get worse..at the end you could barely hear me....after I would sneeze it would get better but it was not easy to listen to me try to talk..BUT it DID NOT HURT to talk.

It took about 3 weeks for my voice to come back after radiation....it really kind of came back all of a sudden too..I went from raspy quiet voice to almost normal in a 2 day timeframe.

I want to say something to all of you...THANKS for the quick response...it is really helpful to hear from others. Keep the faith!!!

One other question - My Radiological Oncologist said that I should NEVER drink again. This includes using alcoholic mouthwashes. Have you been given the same information? It is funny cause I had to ask..it stated quite clearly on my forms that I had 1-2 glasses of wine a night and no one said anything..but when I asked they said..Oh no..no more drinking - EVER. Just curious - it was my only vice.

Fisherofmen
Posts: 5
Joined: Apr 2003

My friend, what you are experiencing are just a few of the many different symptoms. I had a very hard time eating and it felt like I could not drink enough water. I did not have the sinus problem, I just had pain. Now for the good news, this was back in '92, so there is hope and it does get better. My throat is (and I have been told will always be) dry as all get out, but I drink "Throat Coat" (a herbal tea) and suck on Ricola's to help out. I sing in church and give all the glory to God! He is good!

Fisherofmen

nhpokey
Posts: 5
Joined: Dec 2003

Hi Michael... I had the excat same thing you had but on the right side. I had 2 surgeries and 45 radiation treatments. My last treatment was 12/03.

I have all the symptoms you are describing to the T. The worst part is sleeping. I wake up throughout the night with whatever flows down from my sinuses. it gets really gunked up in my throat, where actually, I freak cause I can't breathe via my throat. However, I forget I have my nose! Even now, if I eat anything thatmay be too vinegar or spice, my ears are in huge pain. I have had this since the radiation days and I still have it. There are a lot of things the medical field can't figure out about this. The dry mouth thing does get better with time- I haven't slept thru the night though since the diagnosis and really don't know if I will ever be able to. I am 43 yrs old, female and did smoke. I was a social drinker only, and I do occasionally have a glass of wine, and was never told that I could not drink again. My voice was hoarse in the beginning, but when the radiation was over it got clearer. I have to carry a bottle of water with me everywhere still and that probably will not change either. Different people have issues with the salivary glands and the dry mouth thing. I believe it does get better. let me know if you want to ask anything else- hope this helped! Lisa

stevenb
Posts: 4
Joined: Mar 2004

Hi, My name is Steve. I have three weeks to go of radiation, primarily my throat. I have a horrible problem with my sinus. Thick, constant mucos. How are you dealing with communication? I have a True Tone electrolarnyx devise but the general public spends most of the time asking me to repeat so I end up just writing messages. What do you do? Also, I have constant mucos in my lungs. I quit smoking 6 year ago so that is not the issue. I live in Oregon, in land, and have tried the humidifier indoors. No help. I wear a filter, no help, I've worn a bib plug filter, no help. What would you suggest. Sorry, two questions, but they are nagging ones. Best to you.

stevenb
Posts: 4
Joined: Mar 2004

Hi,I am half way through radiation. I have nasal issues and coughing issues. Especially at night, trying to sleep. Do you want to share advise or help. Steve

AnnaK921
Posts: 2
Joined: Jan 2003

Michael, I have very similar symptoms to yours regarding this ongoing sinus thing. I finished treatment for larynx ca in April 2001. Sinuses have been getting worse all the time. Have experienced some success with Alavert. Going back to Johns Hopkins for my routine follow up within next few weeks. Suspect my ENT will suggest scraping those sinuses out -- the last visit we did an MRI to double check that there was no tumors. Got an all clear. I happen to do a clinical trial with chemo and radiation simultaneously. My thinking was that this was a side effect I was going to have to live with. ?? I am 45 YO F; non smoker; casual drinker. My original ENT told me I had a paralyzed vocal chord and "let's wait a year". A year later (no voice during that year), I was given six months to live. Now I'm into third year of recovery and if sinus is my only problem.... well, you understand. Let me know how you're making out! Peace to all

SEN
Posts: 2
Joined: Aug 2004

I am three months past radiaiton for tonsil cancer and I am experiencing the same symptoms... the symptoms started one month after radiation.... my ENT suspects that it might be acid reflux and I have stared using Nexium...which has not helped as of yet.... but it has only been four days. My right ear feels like it is plugged and putting nasal pressure will often pop it out temporiarily. Drinkly alot of water helps.

caroljeff
Posts: 1
Joined: May 2005

My husband is having 35 radiation treatments for larynx cancer (left vocal chord) & is almost done (ends 5/12). am unhappy because am not sure all this radiation is necessary & am fearful of secondary cancers developing in healthy tissue. As to your symptoms, I don't know because he's not finished yet. go to a naturopath (or other person expert in natural/alternative healing remedies) to help get the toxins & other nasty **** out of your body that they put in there (burning & poisoning--i hate it). I don't trust doctors to tell you anything; you have to dig and make yourself generally obnoxious which is kinda hard on my nerves. my husband has to feed himself thru a tube--did you have to do that? he has indigestion a lot. we can't wait until this is done. thanks for listening. I'll report if he has any of the symptoms you have. meanwhile, get yourself some help with a competent naturopath. Carol

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