Taste - Post Treatment

CSmiley Member Posts: 11
edited July 2017 in Head and Neck Cancer #1

So, I am now 13 days post treatment. Everything seems to be healing well. I think I may be one of the lucky ones, as I have been seeing signs of improvement for about a week now. my concern is with taste. I've had no changes regarding my taste... still taste nothing! I was reading some posts and have become confused as to what I should expect. I may be off here, but what I am gathering is that taste takes a lot longer to return... or taste will return, but the "new" taste will take some getting used to. 

I guess my question is really a request for some clarity. What has your experience been with taste return? 




  • AnotherSurvivor
    AnotherSurvivor Member Posts: 383 Member
    edited July 2017 #2
    At 6 months my taste

    At 6 months my taste 'function' is close to 100% back.  But, there are things that did taste 'good' before that don't now.  Also, tolerance of spice is different.  The whole world seems to like Medium salsa, and I am now on the Mild side.  Wine and beer taste really foul.  Probably if you have any taste you will reacquire a broad range, it just may not be what you had before.  I'm sort of wondering how much of mine was an 'acquired' taste that lapsed.  

  • CivilMatt
    CivilMatt Member Posts: 4,722 Member
    me have good taste, me happy with new normal


    I think you have it….”what I am gathering is that taste takes a lot longer to return... or taste will return, but the "new" taste will take some getting used to.”

    For me there were good tastes from the beginning, but very few.  The awful texture and taste, no taste had me drinking lots of smoothies for 7 months.  There were many bright spots in that 7 months. I consumed lots of tomatoes, cucumbers and olive oil, corn-on-the-cob was great and sweet tea was good.  There were many others.

    I eat virtually everything today, but many tastes are different, some worse and some better, it runs the gamut. Steak (meats) taste good, but chips (which I still like) are kind of flat without as much pizazz.

    I eat ice cream all the time to monitor my taste buds in the cold zone.  I now enjoy cookie dough ice cream, which is new for me.

    The one flavor I always think is going to be normal right is clam chowder and it never is.

    H&N members cover  a huge range of success and  failures, there  will always be those more and less fortunate in recovery to a new normal.

    Be Happy, you are still here.


  • Chicklette
    Chicklette Member Posts: 225
    edited July 2017 #4
    Yucky Taste

    Hi There,

    My husband is 12 days out from treatment and he doesn't complain much.  He just has a "yucky" taste tin his mouth all the time that he thinks is the mucous.  sweet he can't taste at all.  Potatoes actually taste like potatoes to him, though.  He eats everything and rarely complains except first thing in the morning.  He likes to spice things up so he can taste them.

  • mskitty137
    mskitty137 Member Posts: 73
    My husband's taste started to

    My husband's taste started to return about the time the thick nasty mucous cleared up. He eats pretty much anything but there are of course exceptions. Black pepper is a definite no zone. However he can eat medium salsa and barbecue.  Coffee is out now, which he loved before. And so far, his taste for sweets is gone. All in all , I think he's pleased bwing only 3 months out of treatment.  


  • Andy13460
    Andy13460 Member Posts: 115
    Hi Chris

    Hi Chris Just reading your blog on what you tried at the Chinease buffet.

    As you know I’m on the same time scale as you but had no surgery or feeding tube. I think its appears to be tumour position because mine was way back on the base of tongue I don’t think they did too much damage to my saliva glands so I got what I would call partial dry mouth and not the thick mucus that some of you got. My saliva production is almost normal now and this appears to have also brought a lot of taste back suddenly. I tried a traditional chicken and vegetable dinner yesterday and found that I could taste chicken again for the first time since this fun began and carrots, peas, cauliflower, asparagus & potatoes all taste ok. Only problem is taste buds I have get overloaded with quantity then I dont want to eat anymore, cold milk is wonderful now.






  • Sprint Car Dude
    Sprint Car Dude Member Posts: 181
    edited July 2017 #7

    7 to 8 months out for me. Taste is real hit or miss most days. Steak and steamed veggies are my go too. Liquids are limited to water and milk. The tastes changes so frequently I can try something on Monday, throw it away and then that Friday it will taste great. Soooo, I guess I have no clue what my new normal is. Definately nothing dry, spicey or acidic. Then there the whole dry mouth issue.....  Good Luck, You"ll figure it all out as you go.

  • Kskokko
    Kskokko Member Posts: 42
    Taste buds

    It has been about 8 weeks from my last rad treatment and ttaste is slow to return.    There is some improvement.  I had zero taste then and have some taste now.     The ENT surgeon says give it another month and she is probably correct, but it is hatrd to be patient.

    Saliva improves, like others the dry saliva paste occurs only raely in the past few weeks. 

  • SuzJ
    SuzJ Member Posts: 427 Member
    edited July 2017 #9
    No sweet tooth..

    spicy yes, sweet, no - fruit yuck, chocolate yuck...ice cream, I am so over ice cream...

  • phrannie51
    phrannie51 Member Posts: 4,716
    It does run the gamit from person to person....

    My taste came back gradually....with lots of taste fatigue (that's where the first bite tastes wonderful, and it's downhill from there)....anyway, gradual for about a year, when it finally hit 50%.  Sweets were tasteless, and most foods didn't taste great, but were edible.  Then at 3 years out....whamo, it came back almost overnight.  Actually, I had a recurrence, and taste came back during the second set of rads, and it has stayed good since.  I'm like Matt...on icecream, anyway....unlike him, I don't talk like Tonto...LOLOLOL.