Side effects of Radiation- Mucoepidermoid Carinoma of Salivary gland

Hello Everyone,

My father has been diagnosed with Mucoepidermoid carcinoma - Low grade w . He has undergone surgery to remove the cancer cells and has undergone Neck dissection as a palliative measure. He is currently undergoing radiation .


I am not sure if it coincides with what others have had with the same/similar cancer , but is having the following side effects  :

1. Too thick Saliva as good as the mucous

2. Large number of Mouth ulcers

3. Heaviness at the site of the surgery.

4. Lack of taste.

5. Speech is a bit intelligible

6. Heaviness at the area of Surgery


I have the following queries ?

1. Any tips to manage the conditions mentioned above ?

2. How long do these side effects last ?

3. Any specific therapies that can be done to help recover the same like consulting a speech therapist ?

My father has been given an obturator (for now a temporary one) . He says its not comfortable for him. Any better methods for the same?


Any suggestion for the above queries can be highly helpful..

Thanks a lot in Advance!




  • TracyLynn72
    TracyLynn72 Member Posts: 839
    I had MEC

    of the salivary gland and the tumor broke through my lower left jawbone.  They had to remove the entire lower left jaw and replace it with a metal plate.  I am currently cancer free, though, and will answer any questions I can for you...


    The thick saliva, mouth sores and lack of taste all come with radiation.  They are nasty side effects, but quite normal.  This will make your speech a little "off".  Tell him to keep drinking water as much as he can and keep that swallowing muscle working.  Food will taste bad for a while, but keep getting that nutrition however he can!  Using plastic utensils help a lot too. People are all so different on how long certain side effects last.  I lost my taste after 2-3 rad treatments and it was gone for almost 6 months.  It came back slow and a little different than before.



    My face and neck still feel quite heavy after having my surgery over a year and a half ago.  Again, annoying but normal. I still have a heavy feeling, but it's gotten much better than it was.  For me, sleeping propped up has been very helpful.  I didn't have speech therapy because I mainly just have a lisp now and I speak a little bit slurred.  It's because I have little to no feeling on my left side (where the tumor was removed).  I also have a partial that I wear for appearance and it affects my speech.


    I wish him the very best with treatment.  Check out the Superthread at the top of the page for some incredible tidbits of information!  Welcome to our little family :) 

  • CivilMatt
    CivilMatt Member Posts: 4,722 Member
    1 thru 6


    Short answer is it just takes time and if is still receiving rads the side effects may not be over.

    I always had a pitcher of salt water and soda at the ready for rinsing my mouth often, it feels good and helps some.

    I used magic mouth wash for throat, mouth and tongue discomfort.

    I drank gallons of water and swallowed often.

    My head still feels heavy, my taste buds are less than before, but good and my speech is ok, but weak, I am working at that.

    All in all, he is following a typical (well-worn) path.

    Best of luck,


  • gurusank
    gurusank Member Posts: 13

    Dear Vignesh,

    Sorry for your father's diagonise. I am care giver for my wife who had MEC LG and undergone sugery by Feb-2014 with no Radaition. 

    Our Oncologist told MEC with low grade and margins clear doesnt require rads which was a good news for us, not sure how about in ur case.

    Its been 6 months since now and she is having very minimal side effect of surgery which is quite manageable.

    All i want to say is you/your father had a rough road ahead but which will end up in short span of time. With my exp, i initially had a tough time dealing with my wife's "new normals" and now we used to it and coping nicely.

    From good news department, if there is a good cancer to get that is MEC, which is very indolent and doesnt spread as fast as others.

    Wish your father a speedy recovery.



  • phrannie51
    phrannie51 Member Posts: 4,716
    Sounds like he's about

    completely in the normal range, to me.

    Taste buds gone....check.  They will make their way back after rads are over....maybe not fully, but they do come back.

    Mouth ulcers....check.  Not everybody gets them from rads, but some do.  Magic mouthwash, L-Glutamine powser mixed with water doesn't sting.  I used it in place of plain water, because plain water stung. 

    Saliva....check.  I remember that it got thick before it became non-existant.  Water, water, water.  I had a liter of water next to me at all times.  And, as Matt mentioned.....the salt/soda mix to rinse and spit and bust up the mucous and clean the mouth.

    I didn't have surgery, so I don't know about the heaviness.  I do know that the lymph nodes must find a new way of draining, so the fluid can build up.  The temporary orbitor might not fit as well as it should due to the rads....swelling occurs during treatment.  I think after treatment.....when they make him a new one he'll be much happier. 

    I'd be talking to a speech therapist now.....many of us consulted with one before or during treatment.....some for speech, some in case swallowing became a problem.  Ask the Dr. for a referral.


  • thennies61
    thennies61 Member Posts: 285
    Had tumor under tounge.They

    Had tumor under tounge.They removed around 1/2 the tounge and replaced with tounge flap from thigh muscle.As far as radiation thought I got though it pretty good .I did go to a speach/swallowing specialist and really help.Had me swollowing and eating soft foods as she hooked me up to electrobs along the neck to help with any swelling and break up scarring.She sent to a massage speclist that helped to move the fluids along my neck.Still alittle swollen but doctor said it will go down in time plus they taught me how to gently rub and move the fluid.My speach is slurred at times and my mouth feels like it always has fluid in it.Not sure if it's because of glands or that I haven't swolled all the fluids like coffee,water,gatoaid things like that.But the doctor said everything will take time and need to learn to swallow and speak again.He is going to get me new teeth in Dec when my jaw become stronger as they split it during surgery plus radiation

  • ValeIT
    ValeIT Member Posts: 23

    Hello, I'm Italian ... 

    I had a low-grade MEC two years ago and I have not had radiation. 

    What you describe are the side effects of therapy. 

    I wish you a speedy recovery. 

    But because your father did radiation for a tumor of low malignancy? 

    If you like to tell the story .... 

    sorry for my english

  • debbiejeanne
    debbiejeanne Member Posts: 3,102 Member
    my cancer was completely

    my cancer was completely different but i still lost taste.  i had a neck disection 2.5 yrs ago and my head it still heavy at times.  wishing your dad the very best as he continues tx and i pray he has no more side affects.

    God bless you both,