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Parotid Gland Swelling (Saliva Gland)

Charmed324's picture
Posts: 2
Joined: Feb 2010

Hi everyone I am new to CSN. I was diagnose with Papillary Thyroid Cancer in May 2009 and in June 2009 had a TT. I was informed by my doctors that the cancer that I had was an agressive one so they had to give me a high dose (150) of the RAI 131. The RAI was done in August 2009 and I was in the hospital for 2 days. For the past month and 1/2 I have been getting swelling in the Parotid Gland (Saliva) and am having this salty taste secret from the ducts. The gland swells up everytime I eat and then subside about 20 minutes after I am done. My cheeks swell up so bad that I get tired of eating after the first 5 minutes. I had a ct-scan done to see if they were any stones blocking the ducts and it came back negative. Doing research online I think that the RAI had damage my ducts and I may have scar tissue. I really dont know how long this will last but it is not a great feeling. I feel like a squirrel with nuts in my cheeks. If anyone is experiencing the same as me please respond to this post. I am due to see my doctor on March 2 to see what other testing can be done.

Posts: 2
Joined: Mar 2010

Not that I'm happy you are in pain - but somewhat relieved that you also have had this parotid gland swelling for over a month. I have as well - my Oncologist had said that it would likely last a week - but it's still going strong. I would be interested to hear what your Dr. says. I now also have the pain when I eat - excrutiating. On the upside maybe it will help me lose the weight gained after the TT. I didn't know about the scar tissue. In my research it is caused by plugs in the gland and that you can massage aggressively with warm compresses to get rid of them. That did help my first one- after a week of frequent massaging. But now they seem to be in my ear area and aren't moving. Let me know how it goes to day. I am definately having the same issues as you.

Posts: 52
Joined: Feb 2010

The swelling is fairly common after RAI treatment. I had swelling about 6 months after my first dose of RAI. I thought I had a dental problem and ended up having an oral surgeon take x-rays. The x-rays were negative. Problem is that most dentists and oral surgeons are not familiar with RAI and the side effects. According to my endo, the best thing to do is to massage under the ear and forward. Take advil if the pain is really bad and also apply compress if needed.

There is a debate on whether using sour candies after RAI makes Parotid swelling better or worse. First time I used sour candies and had problems for up to a year. 2nd RAI dose I only massaged my cheeks afterwards and I had no problems. Or maybe it was coincidence.

Hope yoou feel better soon!

rzemach's picture
Posts: 33
Joined: Oct 2009

I am now six months after RAI and a month ago I started getting a lot of pain in my jaw and upper teeth. My doc put me on antibiotics and the dentist did xrays....nothing. I finally figured out what is going on by reading on the Internet and will see an ENT doctor as soon as possible.

I have a lot of pain the paratoid gland and am having trouble eating. Some days are better than others. I have tried massage but it has not helped.

Any advice??

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