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Suggestions for reducing mucus?

Molly'sMom's picture
Posts: 3
Joined: Apr 2013

Hubby is 8 weeks post-treatment and improving.  However, the mconstant still constant (although changing in viscosity and taste), so he can't tolerate taking anything but water by mouth.  Not on pain meds, so only issue is mucus. he is using NutraSal constantly plus Mucinex twice daily.  Any suggestions for anything else that might reduce the mucus so I can get him started on eating by mouth?

P.S. - I have been a lurker on this site since his diagnosis.  Can't tell you how much ya'll have helped us!

CivilMatt's picture
Posts: 4303
Joined: May 2012

Molly’s Mom,

Welcome to the H&N forum, where lurking is supported (I was a lurker).

It sounds like he is moving in the right direction.  Mucus is just one of those things you put up with and before you know it, it is better.

I had a utility room sink dedicated to my kill cancer habits, like hacking. Spitting, chocking and rinsing.  I kept a ½ gallon of salt and soda mixture at the ready for swish, gargle and spit.  Some have good luck with Ginger Ale (it was too strong for me).

All I know is it gets better, I now have ½ gallon of sweet tea at the ready.

As for eating, I am not one to ask, I had such taste and food feel issues I happily lived on smoothies for 7 months.  I could eat, I chose not to, but I was also trying foods all the time.  That problem solved itself and I now eat normally (plus lots to drink)


Posts: 757
Joined: Apr 2012

If you can find a way to get rid of it, it would be great.  My husband, laryngeal cancer first primary, cancer at the cervical of his esophagus 2nd primary, has had mucus since treatment started in August of 2010.  We have tried everything and nothing works.  Everyone talks about Musinex but that only breaks up congestation in the lungs and for my husband he needs the mucus in the lungs due to the laryngectomy.  Nothing breaks it up in the throat for him and it is horrible and I do think that if he could get rid of it he must might be able to eat and drink. 


peggylulu's picture
Posts: 375
Joined: Dec 2012

I think most of us were Lurker's in the beggining !!! Lol Love your CSN name, my Grandaughter's name btw. This may sound crazy and no one else has ever mentioned it as far as I know but Dr. Pepper seems to help me , but it may be to soon for him and it may be to strong for him .  Just thought I would throw that in , in case it might help him. I am 8 mount's out of Raditation and still have  some trouble with a little mucus now and then. It takes a while for it to go away. My best to him .


fishmanpa's picture
Posts: 1216
Joined: Jan 2013

As Matt said, it takes time but it will resolve itself. I was using an inordinate amounts of tissues for about 3 weeks then all of a sudden (within a few days), the mucous dried up. I've not had mucous issues since. I found that rinsing with a soluton of baking soda, sapt and glutamine helped to break up the mucous in my throat. Other's mentioned some OTC remedies that help. I would look into those. 

Positive thoughts ad prayers


fishmanpa's picture
Posts: 1216
Joined: Jan 2013

Opps ;)

Posts: 839
Joined: May 2013

I promise I'd share.  I'm a week out of treatments and still have TONS of thick, nasty stuff and I'm hacking it up all day long.  I say all the time that with the amazing things they can do medically, why hasn't someone come up with some sort of help for this saliva??  I rinse all the time with water, baking soda and salt and just keep spitting it out.  Sleeping is the hardest part for me.  Every 2 hours it wakes me up, choking on it and I have to go get it out.  I hope it passes soon for all of us! 

CherieLW's picture
Posts: 472
Joined: May 2013

Hope you can find some relief with the hints that are offered by others on here! If you find something that works, let me know bc I would like to pass info on to dad as he is going through treatments.  He has about 3 weeks and 1 day left!


ellamenno's picture
Posts: 145
Joined: Aug 2010

a suction machine? Maybe rent one from a medical supply store or buy one on Amazon. I've seen them as low as $150.

Hope the mucous issue resolves soon. I know what a deterrent to eating it can be.


Posts: 1846
Joined: Aug 2010

Jim did this faithfully and swore it really helped at cutting the mucus out  of his throat.

I believe initially he needed it twice a day (or more, some days) eventually, it was only at night.

Still uses this if mucus gets too thick.

It is worth a try!

Posts: 14
Joined: May 2013


I have been using a portable humidifier, that I breathe the warm air in through nasal prongs- it hasnt got rid of the mucus but I am sure it helps and seems tit reduce it a bit and make it easier to get it out

i wear it overnight and any time during the day that I feel I need it, also helps with the throat and mouth

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