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Metallic taste

Posts: 4
Joined: May 2015

Hi all! I just had my second round of radiation today & I can taste metal. Is that normal for radiation in the groin area? Or is this just in my head?  My radiologist never mentioned it as a side effect. I've found if you have radiation in your head or neck you can have the taste. Thanks for your help!

Max Former Hodg...
Posts: 3701
Joined: May 2012

Welcome to the site, Sdgirl. 

Changes in the sense of taste are clinically known as "dysgeusia."  It is a fairly common side-effect from numerous chemo drugs, and can be induced from radiation therapy, but usually when applied to the head, neck, or upper torso.

Are you also receiving chemo, or just radiation ? 

Dysgeusia is sometimes referred to as "metal mouth," since it most commonly is described as a metallic taste, but it can take other forms.  I had it pretty severely, and my mouth always tasted like it was full of salt. I never had a metallic sensation.  Late in my six months of chemo, I lost all sense of taste whatsoever, and could not taste anything -- everything was just "bland."

Three things to know about dysgeusia:  It almost always goes away after therapy ends; it is essentially untreatable; and it is unrelated to mouth sores that some chemo drugs sometimes cause.    There is no drug your oncologist can give you for the condition while therapy is ongoing.  I'm sure many folks have home remedies that they swear by, but every case is different, and the professional journals say that the condition, like most other chemo side-effects, is mostly untreatable. As the link below says:  "There are no medications that address taste changes."  But, it does list some things you can do to minimize the issue.

I hope this helps, at least a little. Perhaps the sensation will pass rapidly and not return. 

I WOULD ask my radiation oncologist about the condition, and any other side-effects that you might develope.





Posts: 4
Joined: May 2015

Thank you for the response. I couldn't find this website again for some reason!  I guess some people can have a metallic taste is they are receiving any radiation. So I wasn't crazy! Ha. I'm only doing radiation and only have 7 treatments left!

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