Pain in jaw and neck area after treatment

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Pain in jaw and neck area after treatment

by Bkwrm on Sat May 12, 2018 12:56 AM

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I had a neck disection after having tongue and lymph node cancer. I had six weeks of chemo and 30 radiation sessions. It has been about 3 months since my last radiation. My neck was feeling better from the surgery about 2 weeks ago and now it is hurting like it did when I was done with surgery. My ear feels like it has a bad earache, my jaw hurts and my neck is sore. I don't understand why it would start hurting again. Has this happened to anyone else? I get my scan in 2 weeks, worried my cancer is back.

RE: Pain in jaw and neck area after treatment

by Sdurnell on Sat May 12, 2018 08:15 PM

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Radiation can exacerbate damage done by surgery.  I had a modified radical neck dissection (cut out just 20+ nodes, but nothing else).  I didn't even need pain meds for it, and had no loss of function.  But after radiation, and in the 7 years since, I have stiffness and occasional cramping and pain in that area.  

This may be why you are experiencing pain.  It may improve, as you are not long out of treatment.  But finding out what is wrong is important at this stage, because there are things you can do now, like PT, that may improve your chances for a better outcome.  

Good luck at your appointment, and be sure to mention all of the complaints you have.  At the very least, see to it that your symptoms are managed so you are as comfortable as possible.

Susan

RE: Pain in jaw and neck area after treatment

by NJM01 on Mon May 14, 2018 01:15 PM

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Hi Bkwrm - I’m about 8 months out from chemoradiation but I was fortunate enough to avoid surgery. My throat feels “different” all the time and no two consecutive days are the same. I also get throat/neck/jaw pain intermittently and have limitations from a range of motion perspective. I am not an expert but from other survivors I have spoken to, these symptoms are not uncommon. Good luck on your journey back to health. N

RE: Pain in jaw and neck area after treatment

by cumbee on Mon May 14, 2018 08:29 PM

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I highly recommend you voice your complaint as early on as you can about the pain. I am now 2-1/2 years post treatment and still have severe burning and tightness in my throat. I have to take meds to control the pain which can get out of control sometimes. I believe that the cause of my pain is from the combo of radiation and chemo which damaged specific nerves that are in the sensitive areas. I think that this pain could have been avoided if some type of treatments were conducted immediately after my cancer treatments. At this point, my pain condition is considered chronic and it has completely changed my life. I highly recommend that you jump into having things checked out as soon as possible.

RE: Pain in jaw and neck area after treatment

by Bkwrm on Fri May 25, 2018 01:25 AM

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Thank you for your input. I am seeing my doctor in about a week.

RE: Pain in jaw and neck area after treatment

by Sdurnell on Sun May 27, 2018 06:56 AM

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I was seeing a physical therapist for another problem, and he gave me some massages to do to help with my neck stiffness and pain too.  That may be something you could look into, or talk to the doctor about.

Susan

RE: Pain in jaw and neck area after treatment

by hisprincesstoo on Sun Jun 03, 2018 04:53 AM

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it is hard for me to chew things, the jaw gets very sore after just a bit of chewing . . can't do beef, but ham seems to chew easier, n I can also swallow it with the low saliva production. 

I get horrible cramps in the neck (all around)  and legs all around also .. even in my tummy . . I haven't tried massage for it, but I do try to work on my posture when it happens.  stretching when I'm without a cramp seems to help also.

these cramps have gotten worse over the last 3 n half year since treatment.  the bad ones didn't start till after a year.  the ENT says most likely is nerv damage and if they get bad enough I could get muscle relaxers.  I hate taking drugs, but if they get any worse, I'd sure be taking him up on that one to have them around for when I get them.  Thing is, they usually don't last that long, and by the time the drug kicked in would prob be done with it anyway.  go figure . . would love to hear of any other thing to check out.

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