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Sore throat from radiation

Posts: 6
Joined: Feb 2011

Hi all, my husband is getting a sore throat from radiation treatments and his doctor says if it gets to the point where he is having trouble eating they will need to stop the radiation for awhile. Just wondering if you all have found anything that helps with the sore throat so he can get the radiation as long as possible. He is half way through his 3rd week with 4 weeks to go.

mamacita5's picture
Posts: 254
Joined: May 2010

Ask his doctor for a prescription for "magic mouthwash" he will know what it is. This may help enough for him to be able to eat. I did not experience anything but the slightest sore throat from my radiation but as soon as I said my throat felt a little sore, he gave me the prescription. I took it a couple of times and it really numbed my throat. I hope this helps. Best wishes to both your hubby and you!

Posts: 219
Joined: Dec 2009

I had 35 days of radiation for NSCLC and had the very sore throat after about the 20th session, it is from the burnt esophagus. My DR. described as a bad sun burn to the throat, this was by far my worse side effect from my cancer treatments. The magic mouth wash does help. Water was like drinking acid,found spring water was best (no floride) ate lots of mash potatoes, puddings ice-cream and scrambled eggs worked best for me. Stay away from acidic type foods. I continued with the rads to the end of treatments. It will get better. Best wishes to your husband and you.... Not easy but you can beat this..... Dan

Ex_Rock_n_Roller's picture
Posts: 279
Joined: Mar 2011

I've been there (last summer), but was lucky enough to experience the problem only for about the last 1.5-2 weeks of radiation. It was pretty uncomfortable while it lasted (also my most noticeable side effect of 7 weeks of concurrent radiation and chemo). What worked fairly well for me:

(1) Yes, get the magic mouthwash. I think it's Maalox with lidocaine, or some such mix. It will help.
(2) They will advise taking it with a straw, which you need to do in order to deaden your throat and not your mouth.
(3) I discovered pretty quickly to cut the end of the straw that goes into the liquid as short as possible. You want to be delivering the good stuff to your esophagus ASAP, and sucking through the full length of the straw takes too much time and effort.
(4) Eat quickly after ingesting the "magic," because the effect will wear off.

Follow the food recommendations as closely as possible (everything at room temperature, no acid, no abrasives); it will get to the point where even lukewarm water is painful. My docs advised against things like mashed potatos; they stick in one place and are actually fairly abrasive. I found that to be true.

My salvation for the last week was well-done spaghetti with a lot of butter, with the occasional serving of thoroughly boiled hot dogs diced up pretty small. Strangely, I also had fairly good luck with corn flakes thoroughly soaked in milk. You will want to experiment with smoothies and pudding of various kinds.

You'll have to tough it out to a degree, but get into a routine and stick with it. He'll start to feel like a million bucks a couple weeks after the treatment is done.

Posts: 1
Joined: Jan 2015

Never thought about cutting the straw ty and yes have to take pain pills fast and try to eat cause it does definitely wear off fast lol

Posts: 7
Joined: Aug 2014

I am still having a sore throat 5 months after radiation for vocal chord cancer. ENT prescribed antibiotic for 3 weeks saying it could be inflamation due to radiation. Still sore throat, next step is CAT scan. Has anyone else had this problem? Also I will get a tickle in my throat and the have a bad coughing spell then usually cough up a clear salty mucous. Could this be related to radiation?

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