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8 weeks after radiotherapy to throat-Is this normal?

28 Oct 2019 12:18

Hi. My husband is 8 weeks post radiotherapy for tonsil/lymph node cancer.  He is doing ok apart from a continuing sore throat - varies from day to day but always there. It did improve a bit at week 4 post radio but has got worse.  At a review last week they put the camera down and said it looked "as we would expect" and that throat was still swollen but everything looked ok. He has tried all the usual remedies but nothing helps. He is tetting very fed up and feels it should be a lot better. He also now has lymphoedema of neck area.  Has anybody had a persisting sore throat for so long? Thanks!

8 weeks after radiotherapy to throat-Is this normal?

30 Oct 2019 15:22 in response to Madaboutmutts

I'm sorry about the length of time your husband has had his sore throat for. It must be very frustrating for him, especially when the remedies you've been trying don't seem to be helping.

A sore throat does come under the list of side effects from radiotherapy as mentioned here but hopefully some of our members will pop by soon to offer their solutions. I know you've spoken to some of our regular head and neck cancer members already but you can speak to more of them on this discussion just here.

Our cancer nurses may be able to offer some suggestions as well so do give them a call on 0808 800 4040. Their phone lines are open Monday - Friday between 9a.m - 5p.m.

Kind regards, 

Steph, Cancer Chat Moderator

8 weeks after radiotherapy to throat-Is this normal?

30 Oct 2019 22:14 in response to Madaboutmutts

Hi.  My mum had 5 sessions of radiotherapy to her cheeks in April.  It took an awfully long time for the pain to stop and I would say that mum is only just getting her taste buds back.  It was a horrid time and mum ended up loosing over 3 stone in the 2-3 months it took to recuperate.  At one point it was too painful to drink water, but she found she could manage milk.  I wish you the very best of luck.

8 weeks after radiotherapy to throat-Is this normal?

15 Feb 2021 20:27 in response to Sarasoton

I am 6 weeks post Chemoradiotherapy (35 sessions) for Oropharyngeal cancer. I still have a really sore throat and the tumour feels if it's still present seeing the oncologist on Monday for check up also still can't taste anything sweet!


8 weeks after radiotherapy to throat-Is this normal?

7 Apr 2021 20:23 in response to jamesa7194

Hi, did you catch up with your Oncologist jamesa7194? If you're happy to share, it might help my husband. He's in a very similar situation and really not sure what's going on. Everything we read says 2-4 weeks but he's 8 weeks and in agony when he tries to eat. He has an ng tube to eat at the moment but we fear this may be rubbing and making things worse so we're going to talk to the Consultant about it. Any info gratefully received and hope you're feeling some improvement. Take care.

8 weeks after radiotherapy to throat-Is this normal?

8 Apr 2021 00:26 in response to Prithivimata

Hi - yes it's all been a bit of a rollercoaster!

my oncologist was concerned and called for a new MRI that showed swelling and an endoscopy which showed ulceration on the throat and tongue which was causing severe pain. My ENT Dr then called for an urgent pandenoscopy so he could take biopsies for analysis. The week for the results were sleepless as I worried the worse. The results thankfully were negative and contained no cancer cells! I am now on steroids & antibiotics to help the infection.

im not out the woods yet and my condition needs to improve during April or more biopsies will be required.

I feel much better physically- still have ear pain and will I suppose until I get rid of these bloody ulcers which get aggravated at every meal!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  But it's a step forward and I am so grateful to everyone involved in my care. Stay positive everyone! 


8 weeks after radiotherapy to throat-Is this normal?

8 Apr 2021 01:05 in response to jamesa7194



Thsnk you so much for your speedy reply. Very much appreciated Happy

I have read your reply to my husband and he's definitely going to check with the Oncologist whether ulceration could be causing the pain. He has an appointment on Monday so that's brilliant timing! It's such a hard slog isn't it? I can't believe how much he's been through and it sounds like you're at a similar stage of recovery. His chemotherapy and radiotherapy ended on 12/2 and he seemed to be recovering pretty well until the dreaded 2 week post treatment mark. They'd warned him about that but it's been relentless!

Take care J and thank you so much for sharing your experience. It's helped enormously! X


8 weeks after radiotherapy to throat-Is this normal?

8 Apr 2021 09:28 in response to Prithivimata

No one warns you how hard it gets those 6-8 weeks after the treatment I mine ended on 8/1/21 & I'm still in pain although that's my only gripe - I'm physically & mentally much better.

your husband may have an infection like me, the radiotherapy side effects are numerous and I think I've had them all - stay positive things will get better, it's just going to take tine and unfortunately there appear to be no quick fixes. as far as eating goes I can now eat pretty much anything as long as I take painkillers before a meal and accompany what I'm eating with lots of water & extra sauce. All my tastebuds are back now only some sweet things taste unsweetened like unfortunately chocolate!!!!

good luck 


8 weeks after radiotherapy to throat-Is this normal?

8 Apr 2021 20:42 in response to jamesa7194

James, thank you so much! I know everyone's different but you have helped us to keep thinking positively. I hope it is infection Chris can get under control and start feeling like things are progressing more. We're definitely going to raise this with the Consultant as the symptoms do sound so similar.


Thanks again, from us both and we wish you all the best going forward. Take care and all the best Happy x

8 weeks after radiotherapy to throat-Is this normal?

9 Apr 2021 10:00 in response to Prithivimata

Please feel free to stay in touch and use me as your benchmarker!

good luck to you both and hope Chris turns the corner soon!

all the best


8 weeks after radiotherapy to throat-Is this normal?

9 Apr 2021 15:05 in response to jamesa7194

Thanks James, I will and we appreciate that Happy All the best.