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Old 01-17-2005, 06:08 AM   #1
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Casta HB User
Question Saliva glands killed during Radiation on throat cancer.

Hello
My brother aged 42, finished his treatment for Naesopharngeal tumor 3 weeks ago. He rec'd both Chemo and Radio therepy. As a result his saliva glands are no longer working. He is finding this cronic dry mouth very difficult to deal with. He has tried several over the counter solution like Bio Extra and synthetic saliva sprays, the relief is only minutes. I am hoping that someone may have tips on how to live in the long term with dry mouth and throat.
Thank you for taking the time to read this.
Any help you can offer will be appreciated.
Take care
Casta

 
Old 01-17-2005, 07:27 AM   #2
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Re: Saliva glands killed during Radiation on throat cancer.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Casta
Hello
My brother aged 42, finished his treatment for Naesopharngeal tumor 3 weeks ago. He rec'd both Chemo and Radio therepy. As a result his saliva glands are no longer working. He is finding this cronic dry mouth very difficult to deal with. He has tried several over the counter solution like Bio Extra and synthetic saliva sprays, the relief is only minutes. I am hoping that someone may have tips on how to live in the long term with dry mouth and throat.
Thank you for taking the time to read this.
Any help you can offer will be appreciated.
Take care
Casta
Unfortunately, that is one of the harsh realities of radiation therapy to the head and neck. I do not have any ideas that work better than the one you have mentioned. Best wishes though for improving conditions over time.

 
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Old 01-17-2005, 08:09 AM   #3
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Re: Saliva glands killed during Radiation on throat cancer.

My doctor prescribed a pill to stimulate my saliva - it's called "salagen" and comes in 5mg pills. I have not suffered with dry throat and mouth, on the contrary, I have thick mucus. But the doctor said the mucus was so thick because I had no saliva, and that salagen would increase saliva to loosen the mucus. Also he said he didn't want my saliva glands to "atrophy."
It seems that your brother has a symptom that is opposite of mine (dryness), but possibly the result of a similar malfunction (decreased saliva).
Hopefully this is good info for you and your brother. Good luck.

 
Old 01-17-2005, 08:58 AM   #4
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Re: Saliva glands killed during Radiation on throat cancer.

casta,

I've read your post and can sympathize with your brother. My friend is really struggling with the dry mouth. He doesn't sleep more than 2 hours at a time without having to get a drink, which leaves him exhausted. He has tried sprays, gels, salagen pills and candy with no success. I don't think people realize what a problem this can be. If you have any ideas or if I find anything that works I will let you know. Rod was 38 at the time of diagnosis and is still having a hard time adjusting to his life changes. He was stage 4 but so far so good! Where did your brothers cancer start? I will keep him in my prayers!

 
Old 01-18-2005, 05:57 AM   #5
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Re: Saliva glands killed during Radiation on throat cancer.

Hello Ibp35
Thank you for your reply. Your friends story is a mirror of my brothers. His cancer (Naesopharngeal) was detected accidentially when he went for a sinus washout on the 6th Sept. He never smoked cigarettes or drank alcohol so we are stunned that he got a throat cancer. Started treatment on 27th Oct '04 and finished on the 18th Dec 04. He was told from the beginning that he would most likely loose his saliva glands. We never gave it a second thought. It is very distressing. It has been recomended to him today to use saline in a Nebulizer before going to bed and agian in the morning and to have a humidifier in the room. This will be put in place tonight so i will report in the next couple of days. He uses Gladosene Spray at the moment it gives great relief but only lasts about 10 - 15 minutes. At night he was also getting only 2 hours sleep. After a few days he was so sleep deprived that he was given sleeping tablets which did work but are not a long term solution. He is having his first check up on Feb 3rd so please God all will go well.
Take Care
Casta

 
Old 01-18-2005, 01:40 PM   #6
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lbp35 HB User
Re: Saliva glands killed during Radiation on throat cancer.

casta,
I will pray for your brother that he gets a great first check-up!Will he have a pet scan or what kind of exam?Rod had a scan but goes once a month for the next year.That's terrible that your brother didn't even drink or smoke!Rod did both.Not that anyone deserves this! Please let me know what his doc says about the dry mouth...any advice would help at this point!What kind of sleeping pills did he get?What about depression?Rod is especially because of his looks and life changes.He was a singer, that was his passion, his voice is raspy now and doesn't sound the same.He is very thin and doesn't like how his dentures look either. I know he should be grateful for he is alive but this is also a hard thing to go through as I am sure your brother would agree. Can he swallow?This took a while for Rod also.Tell him to stay strong and keep fighting. Our God is good, he will see him through. Please keep me posted.

 
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