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excessive mucous production in throat following radiation

Posts: 2
Joined: Aug 2010

Last year my 82 year old husband underwent 6 weeks radiotheraphy twice daily for squamaous cell cancer of the epiglottis this proved unsuccessfull and in Jan this year had lazer treatment to remove the tumour, ever since the radiation he has suffered with excessive thick mucous whwich seems to be getting worse Dr's just say yes normal after the treatment but its very uncomfortable for him and embarassing when we are out, does anyonw have any advice on this problem please and yes before anyone asks he was and still is a smoker and very stubborn Jenny

Lena Rose
Posts: 73
Joined: Apr 2010

Mucinex has been helping my husband somewhat with the thick mucous and also gargling with baking soda/salt mixture. Sorry for what you are going through.

miccmill's picture
Posts: 248
Joined: May 2010

No dairy has been helping by husband. He's still supplementing with Glucyerna thru the PEG but eating no dairy.
He only had the think mucus for a couple weeks.

He also takes Mucinex twice a day and lots of fluids.

Sorry he's going through this treatment. It's a very tough treatment.

kimmygarland's picture
Posts: 313
Joined: Aug 2009

Time - I think is the best healer for this. My husband had the bad mucous, seems like it last only a couple of weeks after treatment. He tried mucinex and several other things and nothing helped. If he can swallow, I've heard drinking as much water as possible will help to thin it out also.

Posts: 2
Joined: Aug 2010

Thanks for the replies unfortunately we dont live in the states but in Malta I will investigate some of the pharmacies on Monday and see if mucinex is available here. this has been going on now for months

Hal61's picture
Posts: 655
Joined: Dec 2009

Nothing but time made a great improvement for my mucous problems following rads. Half teaspoon each of baking soda and salt in a glass of warm water, gargle; seemed to clear it for a time and give me some relief. The amuounts of salt and soda can be increased up to a spare teaspoon each if it helps. He can repeat the gargle as often as he wishes. Hope this helps.


Michelle H
Posts: 7
Joined: Aug 2010

The excessive mucous has already been pretty bad for me too. I'm spitting and gagging all day and don't sleep for more than an hour or two at a time at night. How long does it ususally take to start slowing down and getting back to normal? I try the baking soda/salt swishing too but it doesn't seems to do too much for me. Ick!


hawk711's picture
Posts: 566
Joined: Jan 2010

The mucous will end, I assure you. I had terrible mucous, I went through a box of cleanex a day spitting up the mucous. Then about 5 weeks after rads it stopped, almost overnight. During the last 2 weeks I got a suction device and it helped me sleep as I could clean my mouth easily and thoroughly. The baking soda/salt mixture helps even though you don't think so, keep doing it several times a day. How far out of treatment are you? I just want you to know that we all had mucous and it does end at some point, however we are all different.
Keep plugging along, All the best

Michelle H
Posts: 7
Joined: Aug 2010

Hi Steve, I just completed my 33 rad treatments last week, so unfortunately I know I have a ways to go before the mucus starts to get better. It actually caused me to vomit this morning in bed (I know, too much information, sorry)...

Mucus sucks!


Pam M's picture
Pam M
Posts: 2196
Joined: Nov 2009

I, too, went with cutting out dairy and sugar, and drinking as much water as I could. I have heard that selzer water or club soda help cut mucous, but I never tried it (soft drinks were painful for me - they're still iffy). Good luck.

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