Thick mucus

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Thick mucus

by JChips on Tue Jul 17, 2018 03:11 PM

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My husband has had 30 radiation treatments for oropharyngeal cancer so far. He has a PEG tube, but has copious amounts of thick mucus that he spits out constantly. It gags him to the point of throwing up. It is affecting his ability to tolerate the tube feeding. Any suggestions.

RE: Thick mucus

by Diamond_David on Thu Jul 19, 2018 02:20 PM

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Typical for this treatment, I just had a cup of water near me and by the sink, swish an spit. Now this was 10 years ago, not sure if anything better now

its soemthing you'll just have to tolerate, i think for me was 1-2 weeks and just "poof" went away

RE: Thick mucus

by palosheights on Thu Jul 19, 2018 06:08 PM

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Hello. My husband would mix baking soda with warm water and swish around his mouth and Spit. He did this several times a day when the mucas got really thick. The poor Would vomit from all the mucas. Hope your husband gets some relief. My husband also tried Mucinex but that really didn’t help too much God Bless

RE: Thick mucus

by Sdurnell on Thu Jul 19, 2018 10:38 PM

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I recommend using a mix of baking soda and salt in lukewarm water to gargle and rinse.  Unlike using meds, he can do this as often as he wants to.  This can help thin the mucus and help him spit it out.  Ginger ale also was ahelp for me, but less and less so as my throat slowly closed up.

Some folks use meds such as Mucinex, but the one time I tried it I was violently ill.  No idea whether it actually caused this, but I will never use it again.  Others find relief with it, though, so he might want to try.

This is a very common, perhaps even universal, effect of H&N radition.  It often begins in the last weeks of treatment and continues for several weeks or a month or so.  Then it usually dissipates, as I'm thinking your husband's eventually will.  I carried tissues and a small bucket to hold them with me virtually everywhere during that time.

This mucus is the membrane's defense against the damage radiation causes.  For the large majority of us it passes with time.

Best of luck to you both during the difficult process of recovery from this brutal treatment.  Better days are ahead.

Susan

RE: Thick mucus

by MartyKing47 on Wed Jul 25, 2018 10:13 PM

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I would suggest that your husband try rinsing his mouth with soda water. Let him try it in small mouthfulls first. Ir gets quite fizzy and does a good job of clearing out mucus. After the mouth, then gargle in tolerable amounts. Either room temp. or chilled, whichever he prefers. I'm a year out from throat cancer treatments and am now in remission. Thank God!!!  Best wishes for rapid recovery. And yes, it does get better. Marty.

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