Using Zinc for Return of Taste?

Swoosh13
Swoosh13 Member Posts: 71 Member
edited December 2023 in Head and Neck Cancer #1

Hi All Again,

I forgot to add in my last post of several days ago that at some point near the end of my husband’s base of tongue SCC treatment (ended 10/24/23) that I was searching on this Board about taste returning. Someone mentioned they took Zinc supplements and it helped them. Scientific I don’t know but we asked his Hematologist’s PA and he said it couldn’t hurt. So my husband has been on it a little over a month. As of 5 weeks post treatment today he told me he feels like his taste has returned to 50%. Just last week he said 35%.

I just bought a random brand on Amazon, 50 mg/daily. It’s Zinc Sulfate which was the kind his PA said to try.

So far I think he’s ahead of the curve on his weight gain and taste so I thought I’d throw it out there. Certainly check with your doctor first, obviously.

Swoosh13

Gail

Comments

  • goffrey
    goffrey Member Posts: 26 Member

    I also had base of tongue cancer, finished treatment September 16th of 2022. Mayo Clinic where I was treated told me Zinc can aid in the return of taste and I have used it since treatment ended. I would say I have about 85% of my taste back to normal.

  • Kazsmiles74
    Kazsmiles74 Member Posts: 20 Member

    Zinc you say? What form of consumption? Is it a pill form? How much? This is interesting information.

  • Swoosh13
    Swoosh13 Member Posts: 71 Member

    Hi, Zinc Sulfate, 50 mg. Purchased on Amazon (see pic of bottle at top of this post). One per day. My husband’s Hematologist PA said it couldn’t hurt and what kind to take (brand shouldn’t matter).

    My husband’s 7 weeks post treatment and has 50-60% taste back so far, so we think it helps.

  • wdidg
    wdidg Member Posts: 17 Member

    Swoosh, how’s your husband doing? Did he get more taste back?

  • Swoosh13
    Swoosh13 Member Posts: 71 Member

    Hi Wdidg,

    Oddly certain things taste really good to him, ironically the meats that first tasted rancid in week 4 of treatment (bacon, hamburger etc) he LOVES now. He just told me he had a piece of ham and it tasted really good. We continue to go out to breakfast 2-3 times/week and he has regained 20 of the 30 lbs he lost. Keep in mind he is only 8 weeks post treatment. He tells me he’s still at 50-60% on most things except pork sausage which right now doesn’t taste like it did. We saw a good friend today who hadn’t seen us in a year + and when he told him about 2023 he said you really look pretty good. And he does to me too. We saw his radiologist last Thursday and he told us that my husband came through this better than most of his patients. He can taste most foods/drink obviously just not near 80-100% yet, but like I said according to his drs he’s way ahead of curve since he finished treatment 10/24. He drinks a lot of water (2 40 oz Stanley cups/day) which he says tastes acceptable compared to during treatment when the only way he drank water was mixed with Crystal Light (water tasted terrible then). Overall the doctors are very happy. We go back 1/8 for labs and see both Hem and Rad and probably PET/CT later in Feb. We went out for pizza (and calamari and egg plant appetizers) last night and he enjoyed it. Even at 50-60%. Fairly certain most taste will come back over time and we’re blessed so far.

    How are you doing?

    Swoosh13

  • wdidg
    wdidg Member Posts: 17 Member

    Thanks for the update Swoosh and glad that your husband is doing very well. I am on a clinical trial for 3 weeks of rad and 2 chemo cisplatin cycles. I did had an induction chemo with carbotaxol for 5 weeks prior. Doing ok so far. Thanks for asking. Wishing your husband for continued good recovery. God bless!