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Joined: Sep 2007

I am four plus months post radiation following a total neck dissection and have had increasing swelling in my lower face/upper neck on that side. It's been there for awhile, but not really bothering me til the last week, when it's become really painful, tender, and I can now hear my pulse pounding in my ear and bit the inside of my cheek when I chew...has anyone else experienced this? What besides massage will help?

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BugHunter's picture
Posts: 152
Joined: Oct 2007

I went through the same thing. The only way to "treat" it is with lymph node massage. It worked well for me. Basically, if I understand it right the massage stimulates the radiated nodes into accepting lymph fluid from the nodes upstream of them. I had to go monday through friday for two and a half weeks and think it was time well spent. I will add this, If you look up lymphadema on line (www.lymphademapeople.com) don't let scare you, they make it sound terrible and it reallly is not so bad.


paula002's picture
Posts: 35
Joined: Apr 2007

Hello Cuzzy,
Thanks for answering my last post.
Just wanted to let you know that my swollen face/neck has gotten better. My cheeks are still a little swollen though. I'm hoping that with time it will all go back to normal. It is unpleasant but time will help sort things out. Massage does help a bit as mentioned. If you figure out a better solution do let me know.
Happy holidays and all the best for 2008,

Posts: 1
Joined: Dec 2012

My dad finished his treatments in mid September. All in all he did great throughout the course of his treatments but now he has developed Lyphedema in his neck. It's getting harder and harder for him to swollow and the right side of his neck and ear is constant pain. he is taking pain meds but at this p[oint nothing at all is helping. I realize the pain in the side of his neck is due to radiation burns but will this ever go away? Does anyone know how long befor this will finally heal? It just seems like there is nothing that is helping him and it is so frustrating that he is getting no relief. It's been a rough year for us. I lost my mom a year and a half ago from Cancer. Then not even a year later my dad was diagnosed. Between him coping with the loss of my mom and him dealing with the after affects from the cancer, it's been tough. Any advice or suggestions on when he might start healing? I would really appreciate it. Thanks Smile

Skiffin16's picture
Posts: 8286
Joined: Sep 2009

First I would repost this on a new topic, so you might get more replies..., the post you replied was started and active in 2007.

But also on the SuperThread, a post pinned at the top of the H&N Forum, there is a topic on neck massage;

Neck Massage

It might offer some relief....

The SuperThread itself ahs tons of great info also.

As for the swelling (we call that Turkey Neck Club here)... it usually starts around 3 - 4 months post rads, lasting between 9 - 12 months usually.

Are you communicating with the MD's, still having a lot of pain at three months out is a bit long, but not overly unusual.


hwt's picture
Posts: 2330
Joined: Jun 2012

My ONC wrote a perscription for neck massage therapy. It helped allot and they taught me how to do it at home on my own. I also got a strap to wear at night but only bring it out once in awhile. George Baltimore can tell you the maker of the strap/mask. Therapist also told me I could just tie a scraf around my head to cover my lips when they swelled. I actually bought a stretch headband and use it, feels pretty good.

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