Damage to taste buds from radiation

6 Posts | Page(s): 1 

Damage to taste buds from radiation

by docholliday on Wed Sep 07, 2011 10:27 PM

Quote | Reply

I am one year out from my final radiation treatment for stage IV throat cancer. I am dealing with the typical side effects, but the one that has really taken a toll on my quality of life is the damage to my taste buds. Nothing tastes right, or like it used to. With me, the type of taste most affected is the ability to taste sweetness. But, as any foodie, or anyone who has experienced the same damage, will tell you, food is a complex combination of multiple tastes. So, the loss of a primary taste (like sweetness) affects all foods, and not just desserts and sweet snacks. I would like to hear from others with this affliction. I would like your responses to the following questions. How long did this condition last? Did it ever return to normal? Does it continue to improve after the first year? Have you discovered any treatment that helped to stimulate re-growth or healing of your taste buds after radiation therapy? Any feedback will be appreciated.

Thank you,

Doc H

O'Fallon, Missouri

RE: Damage to taste buds from radiation

by Sdurnell on Wed Sep 07, 2011 11:17 PM

Quote | Reply

Doc,

I was really fearing that I would no longer love raspberries.  Now I'm 7 months out (stage III throat SCC), though, and as far as I can tell, all my taste has returned (around 5 months, I think), although my sense of smell seems to be a lot stronger than before.  But I still can't eat raspberries because I can't swallow anything.

My ENT told me last week that 15% of patients like me never get off the feeding tube.  They don't like to tell us a lot about the potential side effects before treatment because some folks might not carry on with it.

I want to wish you the best of luck, and I hope that time will help with this issue.  It must be really frustrating.

Susan

RE: Damage to taste buds from radiation

by docholliday on Wed Sep 07, 2011 11:30 PM

Quote | Reply

Take heart Susan. I had my g-tube for about 5 months, but It's been out now for about 7 months. I had continued problems swallowing solids until about two months ago, when I had an esophageal dilation performed. My swallowing was drastically improved after that procedure. Still not perfect because of my saliva defficiency, but much better. Odds are you will not be stuck with the tube much longer. You might inquire about getting a barium swallow test done so they can evaluate where your swallowing problems are occuring. Stay positive and be proactive with your doctors. Best of luck.

RE: Damage to taste buds from radiation

by suezeeque on Wed Sep 21, 2011 12:19 AM

Quote | Reply

i ended treatment 1/2010 almost two years now, foods still have to  be spicy for me to taste it, sweets are pretty much out as they taste like cardboard...i was told it could take years up to five and sometime the damage is permanent..hope this helps at times vinegars still stings my tongue

RE: Damage to taste buds from radiation

by Onebiglump on Tue May 01, 2012 02:28 AM

Quote | Reply

well sue I just got the bad news I have squamous cell carcinoma. wasnt what i expected. I was hopping it was just a lump they could cut out.

RE: Damage to taste buds from radiation

by pineconepeg on Tue May 01, 2012 03:01 AM

Quote | Reply

Lump,

My husband has squamous cell tonsil cancer with metastisis to 3 lymph nodes.  He is undergoing treatment with radiation and chemo.  If you type "squamous cell tonsil cancer" it'll take you to a thread with lots of good info. 

God Bless

6 Posts | Page(s): 1 
Subscribe to this message board discussion

Latest Messages

View More

CancerCompass Survey

If you were considering traveling for cancer treatment, which headline would you find more interesting?

Get $75 for taking a research survey

We care about your feedback. Let us know how we can improve your CancerCompass experience.