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radiation therapy

Posts: 81
Joined: Jun 2010


Posts: 507
Joined: Apr 2010

never heard of anyone needing a feeding tube for thyroid radiation treatment

Posts: 118
Joined: Oct 2009

My husband had head and neck cancer. When he went through radiation he required a feeding tube. However, he had external radiation to the neck and throat area that made it too painful for him to swallow. I have thyroid cancer and am getting ready to go through radiation. From what my doctor said, I may experience mild nausea. She said to drink plenty of water (especially the first 24 hours) as that way the radiation is washed through your system and dies not gather in your stomach. I really do not think you would need a feeding tube?

alapah's picture
Posts: 276
Joined: Oct 2009

I had external beam radiation treatments on my neck due to thyroid cancer that had stuck to my trachea- 6 weeks of treatments. This was in addition to Radioactive Iodine treatment. It's not common for thyroid cancer patients to need EBR, just Radioactive Iodine.

I did not need a feeding tube though eating and drinking were rough after about the third week in. No matter how they plan your treatments, your esophagus gets in the line of fire so it gets irritated. I was staying at an American Cancer Society Lodge and got a lot of good advice from folks receiving radiation who were further along than me. They told me to eat whatever i wanted in the first few weeks because they knew it would be harder later. Don't even think about calories. Just eat. Eventually my throat did get sore.

At first I was able to use Cepacol to numb things up to eat but eventually i was prescribed a liquid codeine solution. The problem with pain killers is they slow you digestive tract and you need to stay hydrated - which is hard when you find it painful to swallow. I could not drink water - it really hurt. But milk was okay so that's mostly how i got liquids. They want you to eat as much protein as possible for healing. By the end i was only eating things like whipped cream and ice cream but i'm here to tell you it did get better with time. I was prepared to get a feeding tube if necessary. the idea kind of freaked me out too but i met others that had to have them and they were coping well. it really helped them. you may not need it, or you may. try not to worry too much about that aspect and approach it a day or week at a time if you can. be thinking of you.

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