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Recovery- Sore Throat Worse

Posts: 12
Joined: Dec 2012

Finished rads 8 weeks ago. Was feeling gradually better until Wed. Had a dental cleaning Wednesday and two days later throat hurt much worse. Is it normal in recovery period to have throat pain get worse? Two steps forward 3 steps back? Still not able to eat anything other than pudding and milk shakes.

cureitall66's picture
Posts: 912
Joined: Aug 2012

Hi cic2,

My loved one is 11 weeks out for tx and still has some throat pain off and on. It wasn't until about week 7-8 that it let up. We do notice that if he eats anything acidic(tomato sauce, juices) or fizzy (pop) it's very uncomfortable. So, we know it's still trying to heal. He is still drinking his Ensure/Boost drinks along with puddings. We did applesauce and that isn't as pleasant. 

Don't get discouraged with that....it's still healing. Be patient. I know that's easier said than done, but it's all you can do at this point. Just try little things at a time.....a few weeks later something that once bothered you, may not. Hang in there.


NJShore's picture
Posts: 423
Joined: Nov 2012


i see patterns in Dans symptoms.. Since treatments ended, he is 5 weeks out of treatment. Seems every few days his complaints, are circling. 

In the food department he's doing pretty well, we found Gorton's Italian herbed fish filets a have a lot of liquid, sized correctly, go down easy. And of all things, stouffers fettuccini alfredo had a lot of sauce and he can get calories that way. 

It is  amazing how much healthy food I have made and tossed out because he couldn't tolerate it. Now I am buying everything from the frozen food aisle. Not usually where I shop!

I wonder too if the dental cleaning materials might be aggravating this early. Those polishers have tiny bits that fly.

good luck, I hope this passes quickly.


Aussieuke's picture
Posts: 6
Joined: Sep 2012

It is a seesaw ride.I finished rads just before Christmas and only this past week having tried new foods ie fish and salad found my throat infected with something again.Not sure if tinned two fruit syrup contributed or just a lapse in cleaning of teeth.Each time I've gone to speech specialist had to report that due to bad feelings /off color etc not taking as many peg feeds as she would like me have per day,only to be chipper and trying something new within a couple of days.Until proper salivery function returns your mouth is a playing field for just about any bug that wants to play in there.Regular mouth washes and regular teeth cleaning seem to be the order of the day,every day.

Adveturious today tried Minestrone soup with lots of veg.Nice but was it salty(altered taste senses) and hot,raised a sweat just finishing it.Vegs had bland flavours but tomatoe was present so keep at it ,time will come and you to will be trying new foods(or old foods).Now putting up with sore throat that I've had for three days.The soup helped but did not cure the problem.

staceya's picture
Posts: 720
Joined: Jan 2010

I am 3 years out and every now and then (this last week being one of the worst) there is a viscious cycle of choking and coughing, which leads to a sore throat and to add insult to injury, more mucous, more coughing, more choking.
For me, the best soother is cold jello, followed closely by warm coffee.

PS. I add protein powder to the coffee, to lessen the effects of the nutritional nightmare that is my diet.

PPS. I tried adding protein powder to the jello, which tasted awful, but may be the recipe to make spalding balls.

PPPS. Jello cups, not Jello shots.

corleone's picture
Posts: 264
Joined: Jul 2012

The recovery phase is not linear. In my case the worst throat pain was during 2-3 weeks after radiation. After that the pain subsided, but again with ups and downs. Now I am almost 6 months post radiation (but also 3 months post last chemo that also affects throat) and I don’t have any pain except for rare cases when I eat some solid food (pain is not always though, it is variable). One thing I would recommend to check with the oncologist: as far as I know dental cleaning is a no-no for a while, since it affects the gum (and during this time this has to be avoided).

Tim6003's picture
Posts: 1511
Joined: Nov 2011

....this past December I went to the ER thinking I had strep, tried to see my GP but in a small town with rotating doctors during the Holiday that's a dream :) ...Was not strep but he did say my throat looked really painful and red.  I have had that a few times since my last rad to the point it hurt pretty bad.  Now with that said I go outside a lot and live in Idaho where it's quite cold...so maybe some of that is on me....but.....I think it is normal....always of course communicate with your doctors....but it will most likely be the new norm. 


We burn a wood fireplace for heat in our home ...I also think that adds to the issues I have at times...but I have no complaints.....I will take that vs. the alternative any day.



Posts: 213
Joined: Feb 2013

I am about a week over two months out from my last radiation and chemo.  Was doing fine then about a  week and a half ago voice got rough again, and throat sore or at least part sore.  Seems to be deminishing some.  I am trying more solid food, taste still an issue, maybe just a very little bit better.  I also had a teeth cleaning and don't think it hurt or caused condition.

One and a half steps forward and one back.  Really dissapointed about taste not coming around faster.

I drink about a sip of water with every solid food bit, that seems to help.


arndog64's picture
Posts: 537
Joined: Mar 2011

My husband is 2 years out and has a sore throat daily. He is still takes pain meds on a daily basis. He has been to his ENT a few times because his throat hurt so bad. He scopes him every time and told him it could slowly go away or be his new normal. He tries to get off the pain meds, but the pain always wins. I hope one day he can be pain free. He can eat pretty darn good, even spicey foods.

Posts: 3
Joined: Mar 2017

Just found CSN and these message boards, for which I am grateful. I'm 9 weeks out from radiation treatment for stage 1 laryngeal cancer and becoming frustrated/depressed with slow pace of recovery, with persistent throat pain and a continued need for pain and sleep meds. Reading all these stories, I am grateful to learn that every story is different, that every story shows courage and resilience, kindness and hope. 

CivilMatt's picture
Posts: 4335
Joined: May 2012


welcome to the H&N forum, sorry that you are here, glad you found us and 99% of us do get much better (eventually).

You should take a load off and start a new thread and introduce yourself.


wild willy's picture
wild willy
Posts: 51
Joined: Jun 2012

i am 6 yrs. out and still have a sore throat daily. some days worse than others. guess its the norm, hope you get better.   Bill

Posts: 1
Joined: Mar 2017

Hi.  I'm Tom.  I am 5 months out from removal of a rare sarcoma from my lower neck.  T1 was removed completely while C4 - C7 were partially removed.  Lots of hardware installed.  I will begin radiation on April 3rd.  Does anyone have any advice for me that will help me prepare for what sounds like an ordeal?  My swallowing is already compromised slightly and I worry that radiation will make things a lot worse.  

Your thoughts will be appreciated.

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