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Persistent "flem" in throat

buellman91's picture
buellman91
Posts: 32
Joined: Feb 2012

I had SCC in 2006 with Rads only then SCC on the other side of my neck in 2012 with Rads and Chemo. I am now 10 months post treatment and continue having "flem" that I have to spit out. I also have lymphedema in my throat which is slowing getting better with the help of hyperbaric treatments. Can anyone else reflect on similar issues with this annoying problem?

D Lewis's picture
D Lewis
Posts: 1533
Joined: Jan 2010

Yes, I had these. Two and a half years later, not so much, but I had them, and they lingered on for months. Phlegm still bothers me during allergy season, when I have colds, and a lot first thing in the morning.  It's still pretty thick, as I don't have a lot of saliva, and it's still difficult to clear. Still hacking it up, but I try to be subtle. Just my reflections.

Deb

Tim6003's picture
Tim6003
Posts: 1495
Joined: Nov 2011

I had phlem on a scale of 1-10 mine was a 8-10 for two to three months after ...I am now just over 1 year out from my last treatment and oddly enough I have "days" where the phlem seems heavier (scale of 4-5) but most days I do not.  If you gave an idea on a scale how persistant or bad yours was, maybe someone else can give you an idea what they had.

Hope it clears up for you soon.....your tougher than me to go thru this twice ...

Best,

 

Tim

Dr.Ed
Posts: 22
Joined: Jan 2013

but its so decreased now at 8 months out compared to the first 2-3 months after rad. that i barely complain to myself about it any more. I use a water pick first thing in the morning and it helps clean out some of it, but i still use lots of tissues thru the day. It seems that most folks on this post have it clear up to a nuisence rather then a big problem so hopefully that will be true for you too

D Lewis's picture
D Lewis
Posts: 1533
Joined: Jan 2010

Thank you for the morning dose of reality.  Most of my issues have cleared up to the nuisance level, rather than being big problems.

Deb

longtermsurvivor's picture
longtermsurvivor
Posts: 1800
Joined: Mar 2010

are quite a bit different than first rads.  Tissues are much slower to heal, and permanent defects are obviously going to be more common.   I am interested in your improvvement with HBO.  How much have you had?  My second rads have left me very little in the way of phlegm, but a persistent sinus drainage that may be a permanent part of the landscape for me.  Also, trismus and difficulty chewing/swallowing, which persists now 11 months after rads ended.  We make the best of it, because the alternative wasn't too attractive.

 

best

 

Pat

luv4lacrosse's picture
luv4lacrosse
Posts: 1392
Joined: Jul 2010

I am post surgery and rads since Aug of 2010, and to this day I not only have persistent phlegm, I also hack up a dark hard and rubbery piece of something 1-2 times a week. I think it is just part of the "new normal" we all have to get used to. Have you tried Mucinex or an over the counter med to try to dry it up? The Lymphedema severity I think will depend on how many lymph nodes you had removed. I had 34 removed from the right side of my neck and had it real bad. I went to a Lymphatic Massage Specialist and that helped combined with getting back to the gym and lifting again. I think the shoulder and trap workouts I am doing has helped the most to get the fluids flowing.

Hope this helps

Mike

dclear14's picture
dclear14
Posts: 35
Joined: Jan 2012

Mike

I am receiving the Lymphatic massages now.  How many did you have?  And did your insurance cover them all?  My therapist is saying they will only cover 8 and she wants to stop at 5.  I have had 3 so far.

I wonder if the massaging of the lymph nodes can contribute to the black mucous I just started having today.

Thanks,

Robert

luv4lacrosse's picture
luv4lacrosse
Posts: 1392
Joined: Jul 2010

I had five and learned to do it myself. I have not had the need for massage for awhile. 

Best of luck

Mike

Skiffin16's picture
Skiffin16
Posts: 8087
Joined: Sep 2009

I can't comment much as for phlegm as I really didn't have much. I imagine as a result of the Amifostine Injections every day just before rads... The lymphedema we all seem to eventually have, usually starting 1-3 months post rads, lasting 9 - 12 months post rads when it starts to improve.

More than likely, you'll find most of us still have a little more puffy necks than before treatment.

Other than what Pat said concerning twice treated... I'd imagine you'll start seeing some improvement with the swollen neck fairly soon if it's going to happen.

Best, John

dclear14's picture
dclear14
Posts: 35
Joined: Jan 2012

My one doctor likes to refer to it as the "turkey neck".......

 

Robert

fisrpotpe's picture
fisrpotpe
Posts: 1338
Joined: Aug 2010

i have been fighting for years, most of the time it bearable because after approx year it become part of your new normal and you just deal with it. i know for me it did not get better until almost two years. 

many times for no reason thru out the year i go thru periods where it is bad. i use Saline Nasal Spray by Ocean, it is over the counter. I also know walgreens has there bran of the same. what i do is tip my head back and spray this in each side till i feel it fun in back of throat. it will loosen the crap up and allow you to spit some out and blow your nose much easier. when it's real bad i do it again. nice thing is you can do as much as you like. a bottle last a long time and does not cost hardly anything. 

i too use the waterpic in morning as a big help. i use it at bed time along with brushing and flossing and has be huge help. i use as warm a water as i can stand. 

good luck

john 

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