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Cancer: Throat Message Board
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Old 01-16-2005, 02:43 PM   #1
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unkrbk HB User
throat cancer

I have received radiation for throat cancer (squamous cell) - I have a primary tumor on the base of my tongue, and another couple on the sides of my neck in the lymph nodes. I am still receiving chemotherapy, which will continue for a couple months more, but my question to everyone is: when will this mucus that I constantly spit up stop? My radiation ended several weeks ago and I have not had any slow-down of symptoms. I have a G-tube, and have not taken food orally for 6-7 weeks. Constantly hacking up mucus cannot possibly help the healing process. I am truly suffering with symptoms of pain, but most especially this mucus! If anyone knows anything, please help!
Thanks, Rick

 
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Old 01-16-2005, 04:24 PM   #2
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Re: throat cancer

hey Rick,

My friend was diagnosed in April 04 of SCC. Tumor on his tonsil and 8 lymph nodes. He had 3 rounds of chemo and 38 radiation treatments which made him unable to swallow for months. He had a peg feeding tube inserted into his stomach. Anyway it petscan in November showed all clear! His readiation ended in July and he had several months of the mucus. He started eating soft foods in Sept but the dry mouth is still a problem! The mucus was sometimes bloody because he had no salivary glands so don't be alarmed if you have some blood. It will get better but it takes time.Be patient.His doctor said the raspy voice, mucus and other side effects can take up to a year to go away. What stage was your cancer and when did treatment end?If I can help, let me know!God bless, I know this is very hard to go through.

 
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Old 01-16-2005, 04:57 PM   #3
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Re: throat cancer

They never told me what stage my cancer was but treatment ended 3 weeks ago after twice a day radiation for 37 days. Voice is still a hurtful whisper. What types of soft food did your friend start with? I just feel that I wont make any real progress until I begin eating.

 
Old 01-17-2005, 05:11 AM   #4
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Re: throat cancer

If your only 3 weeks out of treatment you have a ways to go. Did you have a feeding tube or can you eat by mouth? His voice was, I guess still is some days, raspier than others. But he had the hardest time swallowing after treatment.He had to have all his teeth pulled before treatment too which is very hard on a 38 year old. Like I said it wasn't until September that he could try eating and some taste buds came back. He ate things like oatmeal, eggs and mashed potatoes with alot of gravy. Alot of water with everything. Do you suffer with dry mouth as well? My friend needs to gain weight though, he is up to 122 lbs from his lowest 114. He was always small and has a hard time gaining weight. I told him to drink boost or ensure but he said he lived on that for so long with the peg tube it makes him sick so smell it. Before he got sick he was 150 lbs. If you have any suggestions, let us know. I am here to answer any questions for you if you need. Please be patient though, the recovery takes a while. Depression can be a problem after cancer too. My friend was a singer that was his passion, don't know if he will ever again so that is hard. I wish he would join a support group but we couldn't find one with younger people in Florida where he lives. Hope this helps!God bless!

 
Old 01-17-2005, 08:10 AM   #5
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Re: throat cancer

Dear UNKRBK
So sorry to hear of your cancer. My brother finished his Chemo and 34 Radium sessions just three weeks ago. He had a peg tube from week 2 of treatment. He also had that nasty problem with thick mucus in his throat. The cause of this is due to the treatment as his saliva glands were killed as a result of treatment. He now suffers from cronic dry mouth. He only started eating last week porriage, mash, liquidised stews, drinks like Ovaltine. He also took to drinking the Ensure which he was getting through his peg. He also said that food did not taste good at all but it is the best way to stimulate salivary glands. They road to recovery is long and hard unfortunately.
Sorry for not having more positive and direct information.
Will include you in my prayers.
Take care and good luck.
Casta

 
Old 01-17-2005, 08:50 AM   #6
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Re: throat cancer

I forgot to ask in my previous post, did you have surgery also?

 
Old 01-17-2005, 10:31 AM   #7
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Re: throat cancer

I did not have surgery. Going into this I decided against surgery because it would remove part of my tongue. I may need surgery on the lymph glands later though.

 
Old 01-17-2005, 12:57 PM   #8
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Re: throat cancer

Quote:
Originally Posted by lbp35
If your only 3 weeks out of treatment you have a ways to go. Did you have a feeding tube or can you eat by mouth? His voice was, I guess still is some days, raspier than others. But he had the hardest time swallowing after treatment.He had to have all his teeth pulled before treatment too which is very hard on a 38 year old. Like I said it wasn't until September that he could try eating and some taste buds came back. He ate things like oatmeal, eggs and mashed potatoes with alot of gravy. Alot of water with everything. Do you suffer with dry mouth as well? My friend needs to gain weight though, he is up to 122 lbs from his lowest 114. He was always small and has a hard time gaining weight. I told him to drink boost or ensure but he said he lived on that for so long with the peg tube it makes him sick so smell it. Before he got sick he was 150 lbs. If you have any suggestions, let us know. I am here to answer any questions for you if you need. Please be patient though, the recovery takes a while. Depression can be a problem after cancer too. My friend was a singer that was his passion, don't know if he will ever again so that is hard. I wish he would join a support group but we couldn't find one with younger people in Florida where he lives. Hope this helps!God bless!

When will you have your scans to see if your clear?

 
Old 01-26-2005, 09:14 PM   #9
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Question Re: throat cancer

I am very new to the board but I can relate to your situations. I too have been treated for throat cancer. I had it on my tonsil and it started to lean on my jaw muscle. Before I was diagnosed with cancer my jaw locked up and since then I can only open to 1cm. It will be 1 year in march since treatment began for me. I just had my feeding tube removed about 2 weeks ago and I still struggle with eating because of a dry mouth and the lack of opening I have. My doctors are telling me that there is nothing they can do for my mouth but I cannot accept this. Has anyone heard of any procedures that can help me?

 
Old 01-27-2005, 09:19 AM   #10
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Re: throat cancer

sweet ti,
I am very sorry you had to go through this. I feel the treatment for head & neck cancers are barbaric to say the least. What stage were you and what treatment did you have? My friend didn't have surgery, but the radiation killed his salivary glands. He had radiation to both sides of the neck. He is still struggling to find something that will help his dry mouth. There is a pill called salegen tablets that may help you if you have some saliva. My friend also struggles because of having all his teeth removed and getting dentures, he is 38. If you don't mind, how old are you?I am still searching for a helpful product for him and he sees his ENT on Wed & will talk to him AGAIN. Keep your chin up and keep fighting! LEt me know if I can help !

 
Old 02-01-2005, 08:22 PM   #11
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Smile Re: throat cancer

Hi again, I just read your reply. Thank you. I was at stage 3 cancer. I just turned 44 in January. I have just started taking the salagen pills. I am very sorry to hear about your friend. I hope he will be alright. Please tell him that he is in my prayers. I had 7 weeks of radiation on my right side of my neck. And also 2 weeks of chemo. I had to spend 5 weeks in the hospital because of the treatment. I just had my feeding tube removed about 3 weeks ago. I am still not able to eat everything because of the dry mouth and I can only open to 1 cm so I cannot chew very well. I am just learning how to get around on the message board so it took me a while to find where I had posted this reply. I feel like a big dummy. Your friend is young to have to go through this. I feel for him. I read a man's diary from the internet that had gone through throat cancer. He suggested to drink a lot of water, 2 litres a day to stimulate the saliva glands and he felt an improvement. I am drinking a lot of water and hopefully I will get better. My biggest problem right now is to open my mouth. I am exercising it every day and hopefully can find a doctor that can help me. Thank you again for your reply and my prayers are with your friend.

 
Old 02-02-2005, 05:32 AM   #12
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Re: throat cancer

Sweet Ti,

I am sorry for what you are going through. I hope you find the help you need.

Would you mind telling us how you found the cancer? I am 43 and have had one sided throat pain that comes and goes.

DawnP

 
Old 02-02-2005, 09:39 AM   #13
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Re: throat cancer

sweet ti,

Thank you for the prayers, you will be in ours as well. My friend has a check up today so he will see about the dry mouth. I don't think there is much more to try. He does drink alot of water but then he is up all night going to the bathroom. This is really tough, you know you think after you get the all clear everything is okay but then you have all the side effects after. It's a tough road. But God is good so hopefully he will take care of us, right???Please let me know if I can help, will let u know about the doctors appnt this afternoon. God bless!!!

 
Old 02-02-2005, 05:28 PM   #14
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Wink Re: throat cancer

Hi Dawn. It took me a while to discover that I had cancer. I had a sore throat for the longest time and bad earache. I thought it was strep throat because there was at least five people at work with it. I went to the doctors several times and they prescribed antibiotics, thinking it was my tonsils. By the time they realized it was cancer, my mouth started to get worst and I had a hard time opening it.
If you have a sore throat and it hurts when you swallow than don't waste any time...go get it checked out. I wish I would have known more about throat cancer in the early stages. The bad thing about throat cancer is that is uncommonly found in woman of my age group so doctor's are not looking for that when you go in with a sore throat. That is what happened in my case. I was told it is caused from heavy drinking and smoking. I was not a heavy drinker at all and yes I did smoke but not heavily....half a pack a day, but I guess it was enough to harm me. I think it is one of many symptoms. I have quit smoking since finding out and will never smoke again. Take care for now and thank you both for your concern.

 
Old 02-03-2005, 05:53 AM   #15
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Re: throat cancer

Sweet ti,

My friend met with his ENT yesterday. The doctor said he is doing great. He says he is amazed that the tumor on his tonsil was the size of a golfball and is now gone.I believe that prayer did this! His tissue is pink and healthy. The doc won't see him for 3 months now. HE had a little bit of saliva and more may come back, may not. His weight is still down but he was never very big anyway. The doc says everything just takes time after treatment. It can take up to a year for side effects to go away. I know it is very hard but please try to be patient. I will continue to pray for you! Stay as positive as you can! You fought this...keep your chin up!

 
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