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Tonsil Cancer

Posts: 2
Joined: Oct 2009

I have/had cancer in my tonsil and gland on the right side of my neck. It has been 3 weeks since my last radiation and chemo - but my tongue and gums are still burning and causing great discomfort when I try to eat. Tried all the mouthwashes and rinses the doctors have suggested but nothing helps. Anyone have any suggestions? or just have to wait it out? Thanks

jkinobay's picture
Posts: 254
Joined: May 2007

I do not know the extent of your surgeries, treatments, age, general health, etc., however I will tell you that in almost all cases the effects of treatments continue and in most cases become more severe for the 4-6 weeks after treatments end.

So, assuming you paid proper attention to oral care, to hydration, to nutrition, and assuming you have tried "Miracle Mouthwash" or something similar, it sounds to me like you may just have to tough it out a little longer. Trust me, it will get better but not as quickly as you like.

For me, after 35 IMRT's with 7 weekly Chemos, it took I would say 3 weeks before I felt like I was turning the corner. Then, another month or so before I was confident I was fully on the mend. It took a total of probably 12 months to get to the 85-90% level with respect to improved taste, saliva, general sense of well-being, etc.

So, hang in there. You have been through a lot and unfortunately the race for your life is not over.............but the finish line is within reach. Congratulations on being a Survivor and a trooper.


Posts: 2
Joined: Oct 2009

I had about the same number of radiation treatments and chemo as you - but spent almost a month in the hospital for dehydration and then one thing after another. I was in good health, I thought, when diagnosed so this came as a real shock. I have been following instructions regarding oral care and nutrition which is a little more difficut since I find eating an awful experience right now. So I'm adding more Ensure, etc. Anyway I do appreciate you answering my post and giving me a time line.


ratface's picture
Posts: 1319
Joined: Aug 2009

I have had great success with providone iodine diluted between 7-15 percent. It should look the color of a summer tea brewing in the sun, carmel like. The bottle should say providone iodine on the label. Gargle with it after eating anything and spit it out. I also made good use of hurricane mouth spray to numb the tonsil just enough so that i could get something down. It's non prescription but powerful.

carolinagirl67's picture
Posts: 153
Joined: Jul 2009

My husband had some really bad burns on the side of his tounge after treatment was over. He had tonsil cancer to the right side as well. Our Dentist prescribed some salve that was like a paste that he could put on the burns and it numbed it so he could eat. The salve helped so much that the burns went away in just a few days. It was brown color. Not sure of the name but I'm sure your DR would know. Good luck. Donna

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