excessive mucous production in throat following radiation

refinej
refinej Member Posts: 2
edited April 17 in Head and Neck Cancer #1
Last year my 82 year old husband underwent 6 weeks radiotheraphy twice daily for squamaous cell cancer of the epiglottis this proved unsuccessfull and in Jan this year had lazer treatment to remove the tumour, ever since the radiation he has suffered with excessive thick mucous whwich seems to be getting worse Dr's just say yes normal after the treatment but its very uncomfortable for him and embarassing when we are out, does anyonw have any advice on this problem please and yes before anyone asks he was and still is a smoker and very stubborn Jenny
«1

Comments

  • Lena Rose
    Lena Rose Member Posts: 73
    Mucinex has been helping my
    Mucinex has been helping my husband somewhat with the thick mucous and also gargling with baking soda/salt mixture. Sorry for what you are going through.
  • miccmill
    miccmill Member Posts: 248
    Lena Rose said:

    Mucinex has been helping my
    Mucinex has been helping my husband somewhat with the thick mucous and also gargling with baking soda/salt mixture. Sorry for what you are going through.

    Dairy
    No dairy has been helping by husband. He's still supplementing with Glucyerna thru the PEG but eating no dairy.
    He only had the think mucus for a couple weeks.

    He also takes Mucinex twice a day and lots of fluids.

    Sorry he's going through this treatment. It's a very tough treatment.
  • kimmygarland
    kimmygarland Member Posts: 312
    miccmill said:

    Dairy
    No dairy has been helping by husband. He's still supplementing with Glucyerna thru the PEG but eating no dairy.
    He only had the think mucus for a couple weeks.

    He also takes Mucinex twice a day and lots of fluids.

    Sorry he's going through this treatment. It's a very tough treatment.

    Time
    Time - I think is the best healer for this. My husband had the bad mucous, seems like it last only a couple of weeks after treatment. He tried mucinex and several other things and nothing helped. If he can swallow, I've heard drinking as much water as possible will help to thin it out also.
  • refinej
    refinej Member Posts: 2

    Time
    Time - I think is the best healer for this. My husband had the bad mucous, seems like it last only a couple of weeks after treatment. He tried mucinex and several other things and nothing helped. If he can swallow, I've heard drinking as much water as possible will help to thin it out also.

    MUcous
    Thanks for the replies unfortunately we dont live in the states but in Malta I will investigate some of the pharmacies on Monday and see if mucinex is available here. this has been going on now for months
  • Hal61
    Hal61 Member Posts: 655
    refinej said:

    MUcous
    Thanks for the replies unfortunately we dont live in the states but in Malta I will investigate some of the pharmacies on Monday and see if mucinex is available here. this has been going on now for months

    Salt 'n Soda
    Nothing but time made a great improvement for my mucous problems following rads. Half teaspoon each of baking soda and salt in a glass of warm water, gargle; seemed to clear it for a time and give me some relief. The amuounts of salt and soda can be increased up to a spare teaspoon each if it helps. He can repeat the gargle as often as he wishes. Hope this helps.

    Hal
  • Michelle H
    Michelle H Member Posts: 7
    Excessive Mucous
    The excessive mucous has already been pretty bad for me too. I'm spitting and gagging all day and don't sleep for more than an hour or two at a time at night. How long does it ususally take to start slowing down and getting back to normal? I try the baking soda/salt swishing too but it doesn't seems to do too much for me. Ick!

    Michelle
  • hawk711
    hawk711 Member Posts: 566

    Excessive Mucous
    The excessive mucous has already been pretty bad for me too. I'm spitting and gagging all day and don't sleep for more than an hour or two at a time at night. How long does it ususally take to start slowing down and getting back to normal? I try the baking soda/salt swishing too but it doesn't seems to do too much for me. Ick!

    Michelle

    Mucous will end
    Michelle
    The mucous will end, I assure you. I had terrible mucous, I went through a box of cleanex a day spitting up the mucous. Then about 5 weeks after rads it stopped, almost overnight. During the last 2 weeks I got a suction device and it helped me sleep as I could clean my mouth easily and thoroughly. The baking soda/salt mixture helps even though you don't think so, keep doing it several times a day. How far out of treatment are you? I just want you to know that we all had mucous and it does end at some point, however we are all different.
    Keep plugging along, All the best
    STeve
  • Pam M
    Pam M Member Posts: 2,196
    Common Problem
    I, too, went with cutting out dairy and sugar, and drinking as much water as I could. I have heard that selzer water or club soda help cut mucous, but I never tried it (soft drinks were painful for me - they're still iffy). Good luck.
  • Michelle H
    Michelle H Member Posts: 7
    hawk711 said:

    Mucous will end
    Michelle
    The mucous will end, I assure you. I had terrible mucous, I went through a box of cleanex a day spitting up the mucous. Then about 5 weeks after rads it stopped, almost overnight. During the last 2 weeks I got a suction device and it helped me sleep as I could clean my mouth easily and thoroughly. The baking soda/salt mixture helps even though you don't think so, keep doing it several times a day. How far out of treatment are you? I just want you to know that we all had mucous and it does end at some point, however we are all different.
    Keep plugging along, All the best
    STeve

    Mucus
    Hi Steve, I just completed my 33 rad treatments last week, so unfortunately I know I have a ways to go before the mucus starts to get better. It actually caused me to vomit this morning in bed (I know, too much information, sorry)...

    Mucus sucks!

    Michelle
  • FifiLarue
    FifiLarue Member Posts: 3
    Mucous

    My husband has a hard time getting food, medication/pill form down. His last radiation treatment was in April 2017, but there have been several major setbacks.  Taking mucinex but not helping. Has a peg tube but he needs real food, he is so thin now. I am really worried, he is so weak, no energy. There should be a solution for this problem with all the technolog. Cannot operate on throat due to  carotid artery blow out, peg tube (removed), swelling. He is still working but I am so afraid for him. 

  • FifiLarue said:

    Mucous

    My husband has a hard time getting food, medication/pill form down. His last radiation treatment was in April 2017, but there have been several major setbacks.  Taking mucinex but not helping. Has a peg tube but he needs real food, he is so thin now. I am really worried, he is so weak, no energy. There should be a solution for this problem with all the technolog. Cannot operate on throat due to  carotid artery blow out, peg tube (removed), swelling. He is still working but I am so afraid for him. 

    mucous

    Is swallowing the problem? If so, has he seen a swallow therapist? 

  • soonermom
    soonermom Member Posts: 155
    FifiLarue said:

    Mucous

    My husband has a hard time getting food, medication/pill form down. His last radiation treatment was in April 2017, but there have been several major setbacks.  Taking mucinex but not helping. Has a peg tube but he needs real food, he is so thin now. I am really worried, he is so weak, no energy. There should be a solution for this problem with all the technolog. Cannot operate on throat due to  carotid artery blow out, peg tube (removed), swelling. He is still working but I am so afraid for him. 

    Calories are critical

    We used VHC Boost ordered off of Amazon in the PEG.  The goal was 5 boxes a day.  540 calories in each 8oz box.  Kept my husband alive.  

  • Frances_S
    Frances_S Member Posts: 54
    edited February 2018 #14
    Add Benecalorie to the Shakes

    Adding Benecalorie to the shake can add 300 plus calories. Also, a swallowing therapist worked wonders for my husband. Try using a humidifyer at night. Also, drinking water helps thin the mucous.

  • abjolly
    abjolly Member Posts: 4
    Mucous

    I am 5 weeks post rads (35) and Erbitux (7). I still have horrible mucous with gagging, choking, vomiting, etc. and keep a roll of paper towels with me st all times. Even more frustrating since I have zero saliva! They want to remove the PEG tube in 3 weeks but unless a miracle occurs I'm not ready, not eating anything yet. Everyone says the mucous WILL go away, just takes time :)

  • OKCnative
    OKCnative Member Posts: 326 Member
    The mucous or phlegm ("flem")

    The mucous or phlegm ("flem") is extremely common with radiation treatment. I did 35 daily doses of radiation on three targeted areas (tongue and either side of neck). For me, the mucous was the worst side effect (other than pain swallowing). The mucous made me gag, made everything taste terrible, and made sleeping impossible. Mine was so thick I couldn't swallow it and constantly carried one of those red plastic cups with me so I could spit. I must have gone through 2 cases of paper towels (tissue was far too thin). This continued for maybe three-four weeks with me and was the major contributor to my weight loss.

    What worked for me was; staying calm (I practiced breathing techniques I found on youtube), i gargled with baking soda and salt literally every hour, and I ordered disposable mouth swabs and would soak the sponge end in the soda/salt solution or medicated mouthwash and scrub the inside of my mouth. This would provide relief for up to an hour at a time.


  • jcraig1957
    jcraig1957 Member Posts: 2
    Thick, sticky mucous

    Hello,

    I have read the info I could find on the site regarding the subject. Most say that the mucous disappears after a few weeks, or at most months. Our situation is my husband had his last radiation treatment July 30, 2017. He is STILL fighting the mucous. We use guaifenesin (active ingredient in Mucinex) syrup, soda/salt water mixture for oral rinsing, and ginger ale to help rinse his mouth. He has been fed through a peg tube since April of 2017, and we are lucky that we have been able to maintain his weight. We have to use a lot of psyllium fiber in order to combat diahrrea, but we have it pretty well under control. Does anyone have any suggestions? We will try anything at this point. Thank you in advance.

     

    Craig

  • dan1658
    dan1658 Member Posts: 11
    Magic Mouthwash

    Google Magic Mouthwash it has helped me. I have my final rad treatment tomorrow! It's been bad for me since I am a teacher and have been out since the second week of treatment as I teach young ones and it cant be done with no voice. My cancer is on a vocalcord

     

  • Darkdancer333
    Darkdancer333 Member Posts: 109 Member
    when we were kids didnt we

    when we were kids didnt we call it lugy's See how far you could spit lol.. Problem now I cant seperate from my lips

  • wmc
    wmc Member Posts: 1,804
    Thick Mucus,

    You can use the generic Mucinex (the active ingredient in Mucinex) Guaifenesin which will thin and help get rid of it. Also Club Soda or other carbonated drink. If you can swallow rinse your mouth then swallow. If you can't swallow it still helps, just rinse and spit out.  The Carbonation breaks it up so the small cans or 12oz cans are best. They have more carbonation.  FYI:  All dairy products will make more mucus.  Hope this has cleared up, or this will help.

     

  • elenatoledo
    elenatoledo Member Posts: 5 Member

    Does the mucus go gradually???