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How long to swallow

SandyLv
Posts: 2
Joined: Sep 2004

My husband diagnosed with a type of throat cancer wherein they performed surgery and 35 treatments of radiation. During and since the radiation, he's been having extreme difficulty swallowing. It's been 3 weeks since the last radiation treatment. Can people who have had radiation to the throat/tonsil/neck area let us know how long it will take before swallowing food won't hurt. Thanks.

maur
Posts: 23
Joined: Jul 2004

My friend is going through the same thing. He has squamous cell carcinoma stage 4. The tumor is on his tonsil and lymph node involvement. He did not have surgery but 3 rounds of chemo and 38 radiation treatments which ended July 16. He is still having trouble swallowing. I have heard 3-6 months for some people.Does he take pain meds before eating? I would be interested in some replies to this also.

SandyLv
Posts: 2
Joined: Sep 2004

Thanks, Maur. Yes, he's taking paid meds before eating...isn't helping much. Does your friend have any recommendations on timing of meds before eating? He's trying to take meds 30 minutes before eating to see if that helps.

maur
Posts: 23
Joined: Jul 2004

He takes it 45 min before eating. He has also used the magic mouthwash. He says his throat is still real sore but the "golf ball" when he swallows is getting better! What stage was his cancer and did he have nodes removed?

detourdan
Posts: 3
Joined: Oct 2004

I had squamish cell in my left pariform sinus close to my vocal and esophegus . it has been a year since radiation and still choke on anything tougher than creamed soups I drink a lot of protein additives and instant breakfast if I stay active I lose lbs. but I get sick of laying in bed docs said this would all pass in weeks I finnally got one to admit it coud go on for a couple of years I don't think they know I asked for bypass I would rather eat than talk or breathe normal Insurance has long run out had to give up feeder at nite. I hope i am not bumming any body out butnow all of my teeth are falling out or just crumbling apart My oral surgeon said that now I have osteoradionarcosis or in lay terms Too Much Radiation He said I recieved 6800 RADs and normal exposure is 6500 RADs Had My throat streached once and it lasted a few days then startesd shrinking again Any feedback about radiation exposure levels? I don't have pain anymore but I would suffer it for a burger

bill211
Posts: 2
Joined: Jun 2003

I had surgery, then radiation and chemo. After the last chemo treatment it took at least 2 months before I could swallow with out a lot of pain. I was given a prescription for something called "magic mouthwash". It numbs the entire mouth area. When I used it numbs the you so much I felt I chewed off my tongue and not known it

maur
Posts: 23
Joined: Jul 2004

Bill, How are you now and how long ago were you treated?

bill211
Posts: 2
Joined: Jun 2003

I am about one year out and I am doing very well now. I still have a few side effects but over all things could be a lot worse. One of the worse side effects I have is not being able to eat anything that is spicy or acidic. Which means no tomato sauce or Mexican food. Two food I use to really like.

maur
Posts: 23
Joined: Jul 2004

Bill, What stage was your cancer and where did it start? Did you have a feeding tube and how much weight if any did you lose? Thanks!

harold
Posts: 6
Joined: Jan 2001

its takes about 5 to 6 months to get better i had throat cancer 13 years ago. doing great now. the pain med. i found is roxicet oral 2 to 3 tablespoons help me 1 hr, before meals. hope i can help e mail if you like only117@yahoo.com

apolinar
Posts: 4
Joined: Jan 2004

To everyone,
I am a 67 year old male, I was found to have throat cancer Nov. of 2000, I went thru surgery that lasted over 11 hours, then 30 treatments of Radiation. It was a tough road getting past the feeding tube, espically since I stepped on it and yanked out of my nose. I had to have planted in my belly, which was a lot better, but they don't tell that your stomach acid eats away the ballon the anchors the feeding tube in your stomach. how ever there is no pain in getting it put back. The pain comes when they first put it in, or should I say bang it in. It takes time to learn to swallow again. They had to remove my Gollatic Flap when surgery was done. The Gallotic Flap is controlled by your brain it tells it what is coming down the old gullet,so it lets it in your lungs or your stomach. It took some time to get my taste buds back and after five years I think I have most of thrm back. One good thing with the Radiation I now only have part of my Beard so I shave alot faster. When I swallow I find it easier if I bend my head forward, It seems to form a straight shot down my throat, however I still have to watch it because I still choke alot. I also still have alot of flem. My surgery was done from just below my left ear all the way to just below ,my right year, I have a constant high ringing beat which is my pulse. Some times I can shut it out and some times it gets really loud espically when I am tired. But all in all I am doing really good, I am alive and thank GOD i got to know my one and only grandchild, a little girl who will be turning four years old next month. She makes our life so wonderful and keeps us feeling young. Any way to all of you hang in there, your Religon will be a great comfort to you, you can really lean on it, God is always there to help.
God bless you all,
from a fellow cancer survivor,
POLO

kyleen1218
Posts: 2
Joined: Oct 2004

Hello, Well we just found out my Dad has Squamous Cell Carcinoma and it is stage 4...They told us he may only be around for about 3 months or so and if he did not take the rad. treatments he wouldn't last that long. Needless to say we are going crazy, We lost my Mom 9 yrs ago & she was only 40. But it wasn't from cancer. Now I have this to deal with I am a only child and my Dad is my everything, Does anyone have any good news on the out come on anyone else that has had this?Please feel free to e-mail me kyleen1218@aol.com
Thanks, Hopefull..

dbaker331's picture
dbaker331
Posts: 4
Joined: Apr 2004

4-5 months is the expectation.. Get him used to the fact that he won't eat the same foods again and not to get depressed about it.. Substitue his enjoyment of food for the next year for something else. Don't use anything and get him off the morphine or other pain meds as soon as possible. Make lots of smoothies early on and keep him away from those foods he longs for. It WILL come back in some form, but perception is really the key.. it will NOT be the same, so accept that he's alive and move on. I had over 30 treatments, 4 months of feeding tube and 5 years later still struggle to swallow at times. The first year is really tough.. don't hold judgement until after the first year. try to distract his love for food on something else.. dbaker331@aol.com (if you or anyone needs support from a survivor)

MEldridge
Posts: 7
Joined: Feb 2005

I am one year out from surgery (radical neck disection) and finished my 33rd radiation treatment on 6-21-03. I have extreem difficulty swallowing just as your husband does. After numerous swallowing tests my doctor told me last Wed. that I have permanent dammage to my throat from the radiation. He told me to get used to the discomfort. However, I like to eat and have tried several things that help. Before eating I gargle with very warm water for about 10 minutes. I also take Zanax, it helps relax my throat, ( also everything else lol). I pray a lot and that helps the most. Good luck and God Bless you.

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