Looking for Help - Throat sore due to Radiotherapy

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Looking for Help - Throat sore due to Radiotherapy

by siamputhomte on Mon Jan 30, 2012 06:45 PM

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Dear all,

Dear all,

My father suffered from a known case of carcinoma nasopharynx and was treated with Medical oncology since the past 6 months. He was advised 3 cycles of chemotherapy and 35 times radiotherapy/radiation on his neck (along with weekly CDDT). He  has, recently, completed his chemotherapy and radiotherapy treatment. Undergoing his treatment of radiation for about 25 times, he suffered a severe throat sore and could not swallow anything. He could not even drink or eat. While consulting the doctor, we were advised that the throat sore may go away within 2 or 3 days of the treatment ends. Today it enters the 5th day but hardly any improvement is seen on his throat. He is weak and tired due to empty stomach (or of that sort). The only way we could feed him is giving a drip (intravenous) twice/thrice a day. 

Is there any treatment or medication to cure the throat sore? I appreciate anyone who can advise or tell us how to do away with throat pain. NEED HELP

RE: Looking for Help - Throat sore due to Radiotherapy

by PopPop on Mon Jan 30, 2012 11:43 PM

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siamputhomte,

I am sorry to hear that your Dad is having such a rough time, but radiation and chemo tend to have these affects on our mouth and throat.

Was your Dad offered any pain medicines for any discomfort with his mouth sores? If not, ask for them now. 

For a short term solution to the problem, I was told to use a   solution of 1 teaspoon of baking soda and 1 teaspoon of salt in 1 quart of room temperature water, rinse and gargle as needed. I used it just before eating to numb my mouth a bit. I increased the mixture to 1 Tablespoon of each in the later weeks of radiation and it helped, but eventually, I needed the pain med's to help also.

Roselvr got a perscription for Actiq-pops for her husband. They are like Lollipops and he used them during the day to numb his mouth. You can see about those also.

My Best to Both of You and Everyone Here

RE: Looking for Help - Throat sore due to Radiotherapy

by siamputhomte on Tue Jan 31, 2012 09:36 AM

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Dear PopPop,

Thank you so much, we'll do as you instructed. Of course, my Dad was offered or prescribed medicines for the same. And, we could see some improvement in it.

I'll get back to you.....

Regards,

siamputhomte

RE: Looking for Help - Throat sore due to Radiotherapy

by Dlynn1210 on Tue Jan 31, 2012 10:00 AM

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On Jan 31, 2012 9:36 AM siamputhomte wrote:

Dear PopPop,

Thank you so much, we'll do as you instructed. Of course, my Dad was offered or prescribed medicines for the same. And, we could see some improvement in it.

I'll get back to you.....

Regards,

siamputhomte

The baking solution does help with the mouth soreness but my oncologist prescribed a stomatitis cocktail that is a mixture of benadryl, maalox, and xylocaine. It does help!

Best of luck - there is light at the end of the tunnel.  I am four years out of treatment and still getting clean scans.  The treatment is rough but well worth the results. 

Diana 

RE: Looking for Help - Throat sore due to Radiotherapy

by PopPop on Wed Feb 01, 2012 12:58 AM

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siamputhomte,

You're Welcome, I forgot to mention that I started out using the solution maybe every hour and a half and then increased the use to about every 30 minutes as my radiation treatments went into week 4 and 5,etc.

The solution will not harm your Dad as he will be rinsing/ gargling and then spitting the solution out. I would retain a small amount in my mouth as I spit so I could swallow a tiny bit and allow it to travel down my throat and hit the sores there as well.

I hope that your Dad gets some relief soon.

My Best to Both of You and Everyone Here

RE: Looking for Help - Throat sore due to Radiotherapy

by siamputhomte on Wed Feb 01, 2012 04:02 PM

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Thank you so much, Dear PopPop and Diana,

He has started the solution now, and it was found useful. He could not take in half-boiled eggs and able to drink warm water. It is, so far, my finding that he is improving.

I'll appreciate if you can also advice about his diet...

Regards,

Siamputhomte

RE: Looking for Help - Throat sore due to Radiotherapy

by Dlynn1210 on Wed Feb 01, 2012 05:01 PM

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On Feb 01, 2012 4:02 PM siamputhomte wrote:

Thank you so much, Dear PopPop and Diana,

He has started the solution now, and it was found useful. He could not take in half-boiled eggs and able to drink warm water. It is, so far, my finding that he is improving.

I'll appreciate if you can also advice about his diet...

Regards,

Siamputhomte

If nothing else, tell him to continue drinking water at this point.  It will help maintain the muscles in his throat and esophagus. It is going to be a slow process back to eating so just be patient. Start with liquids - gravy will become your dad's best friend. I never ate a lot before treatment but it is now a part of my regular diet.  Start with soups, applesauces, etc - I find rice extremely difficult even now to eat and I need crackers in my soup.  I have to soak my cereal for a bit before eating.  A wonderful bit of advice that I received was to go to a buffet where you can try a bite or two of each food - to hit upon what you can and cannot eat. The toughest foods to swallow are meats.  Steak is still difficult for me to swallow unless it is tendorized.  Ham - I mean the kind you buy and fix for holidays - was the first meat I could easily swallow.  Mashed potatoes w/ gravy still my mainstay.  I was raised by a dad that LOVED hot and spicy so I also loved it.  No more - ketchup was even too spicy for me in the beginning.  I loved Shrimp Cocktail sauce but it was almost two years after treatment before I could tolerate it - and then I made up for lost time.  I always say I am back to normal in eating - BUT I have a new normal.  Will your Dad ever go back to eating the same as he did before treatment - most likely he will not but it is a small price to pay to be cancer free.  I have also had three dilations - where they stretch the esophagus which has enabled me to eat more.  I also had vita stim therapy with a speech pathologist which was a tremendous help in getting me back to eating.  A speech therapist is not qualified to conduct the treatment - only a speech pathologist.  My pathologist was a college friend and was the first person who told me upfront that I would never go back to the way I was before treatment - that I would have a new norm.  I appreciated her honesty because I knew to work toward that new norm rather than be disappointed when I did not make it back to the old norm.  Tell him not to push it, take it week by week.  There really is light at the end of the tunnel.  My treatment is now a faint memory and I only walk down memory lane when I can help others who are now where I have been.  We are so blessed to have a type of cancer that is cureable - not just treatable as so many others are diagnosed with.  I wish your Dad the very best - and believe it from someone who has been where he is - there are better days ahead.  I learned to appreciate life so much more and try to make every day count by trying to make life a little better for someone.   

Diana

RE: Looking for Help - Throat sore due to Radiotherapy

by Dlynn1210 on Wed Feb 01, 2012 05:05 PM

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P.S. Think meats with more fat content - like dark meat of chicken rather than white meat (I always preferred white meat before but now eat only dark meat) - the grease helps it slide down more.  Cheaper grades of ground beef - less fat means more difficulty in swallowing. 

RE: Looking for Help - Throat sore due to Radiotherapy

by PopPop on Thu Feb 02, 2012 05:36 AM

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siamputhomte,

Just to add a few things to Diana's reply as far as the food. Try to give your Dad all his food and liquids at room temperatures now that he has the sores. Hot and cold affect his mouth and throat allot now. As Diana mentioned, soft foods and liquids are your Dad's friends. I too was a fan of potatoes and gravy.

I ate scrambled eggs allot, but I also poured syrup over them to make them slide down easier. My taste buds weren't working at the time, so taste was not an issue, getting nutrition and calories in were my main concern.

And as Diana mentioned, measure improvement by each week verses each day, it will be slow going for awhile.

My Best to Both of Yoou and Everyone Here

RE: Looking for Help - Throat sore due to Radiotherapy

by Dlynn1210 on Thu Feb 02, 2012 09:36 PM

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On Feb 02, 2012 5:36 AM PopPop wrote:

siamputhomte,

Just to add a few things to Diana's reply as far as the food. Try to give your Dad all his food and liquids at room temperatures now that he has the sores. Hot and cold affect his mouth and throat allot now. As Diana mentioned, soft foods and liquids are your Dad's friends. I too was a fan of potatoes and gravy.

I ate scrambled eggs allot, but I also poured syrup over them to make them slide down easier. My taste buds weren't working at the time, so taste was not an issue, getting nutrition and calories in were my main concern.

And as Diana mentioned, measure improvement by each week verses each day, it will be slow going for awhile.

My Best to Both of Yoou and Everyone Here

Pop Pop

That is why we are all so good together as a group - what one may not suggest, another can add valuable information.  I still ask for drinks with only a little ice and rarely eat ice cream because extreme cold still bothers me - hot not as much.  After treatment, our mouths are tender for a time like a newborn baby.  I also found that it took a while for the taste buds to kick back in.     

A tip - When I told my nutritionist at CTCA that I didn't eat pancakes anymore because I loved syrup on them - and as we know cancer loves sugar - she had a wonderful suggestion.   She said to put fruits (e.g. blueberries, strawberries) in a blender and then pour them over the pancakes.  I have tried it with other foods as well and it works great.

I just got back from a mission trip to St. Lucia and I took several packets of gravy along just in case - I used every packet.   

Diana  

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