Thick Mucus after Radiation Therapy for Head & Neck Tumors

Last Modified: January 11, 2009

Question:

Dear OncoLink "Ask The Experts,"

I am a 47 year-old who had cancer of the epiglottis. I had radiation and 2 years later, the tumor was back. I then had surgery and [they] took the epiglottis, lymph nodes, and a piece of 1 vocal cord. I'm tube feeding and have gained about 10 lbs, some muscle mass, and all seems to be going well. The worst part is [having] really thick secretions from my mouth, which sometimes feel like they are blocking my throat as they are so thick. I chew lots of gum but have to spit out juice since I can�t swallow without an epiglottis. I also munch ice with lemon salt on it to moisten [my] mouth. Is there something I am doing wrong or need to do differently? I feel pretty darn good for all I've been through but this mucus thing is bugging me.

Answer:

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