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Hardening of the throat region

racersmom
Posts: 5
Joined: Oct 2007

I would like to know if anyone has any suggestions to help my mother. She was diagnosed with Squamous Cell Cancer of the tongue about 2 years ago. She underwent several rounds of radiation and chemo. She still has all the symptoms I have read about on this site ie: difficulty in swallowing, dry mouth, etc. But I have not seen anything about hardening of the neck and throat. If you touch under her chin, from side to side, it is extremely hard, literally like a rock. She was told if she massages it, it will help but it becomes extremely painful after much rubbing and doesn't seem to help. This contributes to the difficulty in eating / swallowing. She has lost 70 pounds. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

MLC53's picture
MLC53
Posts: 109
Joined: Sep 2007

I have not experienced the hardness you are referring to. However, the radiation did shrink my esophagus and I had to have an endoscope and dilations so that I could swallow liquids and foods better. Your mom might want to discuss that possibility with her doctors. Also, maybe your Mom could ask her doctors about putting a feed tube in. At least temporarily so she can get her proper nourishment while she is still healing. I'm surprised they haven't suggested that since she's lost so much weight. Good luck to you both and keep us posted.

racersmom
Posts: 5
Joined: Oct 2007

The dialation sounds like a great idea. We will definately ask her doctor about this. She did have a feeding tube before, but no longer needs it because she is able to swallow liquids and some solids, its just difficult. Thank you for your advise, I greatly appreciate it.

BugHunter's picture
BugHunter
Posts: 152
Joined: Oct 2007

It sounds to me she may have a condition called "Lymphadema"(sp?) I went through this but not to the point of hardening. I went through about two weeks of physical therapy for it to stimulate the lymphnodes that the radiation had cooked. Took a while but it did get better. Called her Oncologist and see if he/she thinks this may be the problem.........hope this helps!

BILL

racersmom
Posts: 5
Joined: Oct 2007

I have never heard of this, thank you - we will try to get more information on this. Do you mind telling me what kind of physical therapy you experienced?

rogerbfi
Posts: 16
Joined: Dec 2003

Hi, My husband has huge FIBROSIS of the neck, and shoulder region. That is what the hardening is. We have tried many things, it feels like to me a saddle with living tissue on top. For him, it is affecting his blood/vein supply in the chest, long ago attacking the neck region. YES, massage is wonderful, it really does help! If nothing else it gives the touch element that we all need. My children ask for it more often than my husband who is the one it benefits.If it seems painful, get a nice unscented water-based product made for massage.

racersmom
Posts: 5
Joined: Oct 2007

Your husband's condition does sound similar to mom's. I appreciate your response, we will ask about this as well. I am thankful for the responses, they are helpful, what a blessing. I wish you and your husband the very best.

devildawg
Posts: 16
Joined: Jun 2005

I have a similar problem. The muscles and tendons in my head neck have tightened up so much, but its not constent. it's like charley horses in my head and neck, the muscles spasm constently, it's like I don't have control over my body. My jaw does what it wants when it wants, it locks up several times aday where i can do nothing to open my mouth but wait. I have just recently tried botox injections into the muscles in my jaw and neck, unfortunately no improvement yet,but they are doing muscles one at a time. I hope this helps somewhat, good luck!

racersmom
Posts: 5
Joined: Oct 2007

I truely appreciate all the advise we have received and I wish the best of luck to everyone. Unfortunately, my mother passed away about a month ago. This website is a wonderful source of support for families of cancer patients. Please continue to help those in need.

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