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Help for esophagus burn?

suekgaard's picture
Posts: 28
Joined: May 2010

OK folks I can use some help from those of you who've been through this. I'm on week 3 of radiation and the predicted sore throat is upon me. Hurts to swallow, my voice is raspy, etc. My question is what have those of you who've gone through this used that works to ease the discomfort? Thanks for the help ! Sue

soccerfreaks's picture
Posts: 2800
Joined: Sep 2006

First, sue, you should be using some sort of preventive agent, not one BEFORE rads but AFTER. Some people swear by natural aloe (be careful not to get some aloe wannabe that contains petroleum, as that sinks into the skin and could cause problems the next time you have rads, especially if they are daily). Some people like something called aquaphor, and I found success with something called biafene. Not endorsing a product here, and there are probably better ones now: the point is to use some sort of agent to help prevent burning AFTER rads (and, as always, ask your rad guy before considering any of this).

Next, ask your doc about Nexium or some other product usually used for acid reflux that might assuage your pain. (I am both head/neck and lung cancer survivor.)

I do not know of any magic elixirs for your esoph, other than smoothies and milk shakes :).

And since you are in treatment, you DO need the nutrition.

Best wishes. Wish I could help more. Most of the stuff I used was for the mouth and probably wouldn't help you.

Take care,


Posts: 2
Joined: Sep 2010

Hi Sue, I went through this when I was first told I have lung cancer. The Dr. I had for my rad treatments gave me something called Miracle Mouthwash,it worked at soothing the throat and mouth as I had both. Hope this helps.

Posts: 220
Joined: Dec 2009

Hi Sue, I know what your going through, this was my worse side effect from treatments for nsclc 3B. I was perscribed magic mouth wash first, you gargle and let slowly trickle down throat about 1/2 hour before eating, this helped. When i was done with last rads (had 35 last one Aug 2008) he perscribed Oxycodone solution, this really helped. I ate lots of milkshakes with plastic spoon and all soft type foods (scramled eggs mac and cheese and lots of mashed potatoes) only water i could drink was spring water (no floride) regular water burnt bad. I never thought i could give up my morning coffee but i did for several months. Hang in there it does get better. Best of health .... Dan

kelli1843's picture
Posts: 72
Joined: Jan 2010

My rad doc prescribed me what we called my Harry Potter Potion, from the pharmacy. It was Maalox, Lidocain, benedryl and something else. You swish it around your mouth, hold it in back of your throat and swallow.

It numbs/soothes your throat and makes eating/drinking easier. I found yogurt to be easy going and also Luigi's Frozen Ice. Stay away from any tomato sauce. Fetticini pasta sauces were easy to eat.

Posts: 3
Joined: Jul 2010

Thank you for the information. My x-fiance, whom I am taking care of (going through SCLC) is having an extremely difficult time with the swallowing and pain. Oxycodone tablets seem to help somewhat but the coughing and terrible pain is overwhelming for him at times. I've resorted to all recipes which are only (soft items), I wish that I could do more but I cannot possibly imagine what he is going through. I appreciate the heads-up about the spring water. He was a huge coffee drinker but now is only having tea or cocoa in the morning. Best wishes to you and God Bless. Deb

Posts: 3
Joined: Mar 2010

My dr. gave me a script for BMX. It's a liquid that you take before eating....it numbs the back of your throat and esophagus enough so you can swallow without pain. Good luck!

Posts: 2
Joined: Jun 2010

Oh yes, ask for the magic mouthwash prescription -- very helpful. Plus anything soft/liquid/cool. I love tapioca and frozen fruit bars! Hang in there and good luck!


Posts: 3
Joined: Sep 2010

My doctor gave me a script for a Lidocaine cocktail,
which I swished and swallowed. My throat felt better not too long
after my radiation treatments. Ask your oncologist about it. Hang in there.
This whole experience is one I could have lived without.

Posts: 2
Joined: Jul 2010

My mom is going through radiation and chemo and developed similar symptoms. She was diagnosed today with esophagitis and thrush which is not uncommon among patients with compromised immune systems. She is on another cadre of prescriptions to get rid of the fungal infection which caught us offguard because she got a really good cat scan report and her med onc nurses thought she looked really well at her last chemo. I know it's a long time after your original post but thrush is something to keep in mind and nothing to mess with!

Posts: 1
Joined: Sep 2010

You and I are in the same boat. This is my 3rd week also. Just started having trouble swallowing. Also, everyone tells me to keep hydrated, which is tough when you can't swallow. I think I have thrush also. I am taking the elixer with the maalox, benedryl, and lidicaine. It helps a little with eating, but you still have to eat soft and easy to swallow things. Thicker drinks are better than watery. Easier to get down. I hope this helps.

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