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Throat radiation eating

Posts: 5
Joined: Sep 2004

Hello All! I hope everyone is doing well (at least as well as can be expected) I am wondering if anyone has had as bad of a time as I am having with radiation. I have just finished 10 treatments to my throat and neck and my doctor has postponed treatment because my throat area has too much inflamation. I was in severe pain but now the swelling in my glands and the pain has subsided. The thing is I still can not eat! I could see how I could not eat when I was in pain and was having such difficulty swallowing. The food (even soft foods) is getting stuck in my teeth, then in my throat and gets stuck in my chest area. It doesn't help that my taste buds are shot! (And I did develop a yeast infection in th back of my throat and tongue) Based on the message boards I have been reading this does not seem typical. Has anyone had such difficulty eating???? Not due to pain??? Please help, I am bit sure if this is psychological at this point!

Posts: 62
Joined: May 2004

My throat swelled pretty bad and I couldn't swollow - one day, before meds from my radiologist, I was spitting my saliva into a towel b/c it hurt too bad to swollow.

Please talk to your oncologist or radiation oncologist - my radiation oncologist gave me liquid codine - and this helped with the swelling as well as the pain - bad thing is that I couldn't take this during the day as it made me sleepy, but taking it at night was great b/c then my throat started over in the morning :)

There are meds to help out, just make sure that you communicate with your care team.


Posts: 5
Joined: Sep 2004

Thanks for responding Lisa! Hope you are well. My throat pain went away without meds, but food still sticks to my teeth(I do have saliva still) and all food tastes like cardboard! Did you have this experience? If so, any helpful hints would be greatly appreciated. Thanks! Leslie

Posts: 69
Joined: Dec 2003

I had the exact same reaction to radiation. I too had the thrush in the throat and I couldn't eat throughout my entire radiation treatment. I got dehydrated and lost 40 pounds(thatwastheonepositiveforme). Like you everyone thought I was crazy for complaining about so much discomfort and problems. I was definately shocked by my reaction to radiation, since everyone told me it was going to be easy. My only advice to you is to give it a little more time. It isn't easy,and yes some of it is pyschological, I don't know about you, but I threw up every day. It took me a long time post treatment to eat. I wish you lots of luck and want you to know that you are not alone! There are people like us out here! Keep trying smoothies are a good thing to try they go down easy. Good Luck and I will keep you in my thoughts and prayers.

Posts: 1
Joined: Apr 2002

Hi- I am sorry that you are having such a difficult time, but I had the same issues. I went through 22 radiation treatments and after about 10 treatments, I started throwing up everyday- eating actually cut my throat and I started bleeding. I then decided not to eat at all- but then I got dehydrated- not fun. But my Doctor & nurses- said don't worry about eating- but drink at least one liter a day- and I will get through. So that is what I did- I was very weak from not eating- and post treatment took a long time to get back to eating normal. A year later and I still have saliva problems- but it is better than the alternative. Hope things get better and I will keep you in my prayers. Karen

Posts: 2
Joined: Jun 2002

Same thing happened to me. It got so bad, I did not eat or drink for 3 days. They gave me all sorts of medication to numb my throat so that I could eat and drink. It did not work. One morning when going for treatment, they ended up keeping me and putting me on an IV because I was so frail and dehydrated. Hope you feel better.

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