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Head and neck cancer

26 Dec 2017 13:24

i am 15 months after treatment finished for throat cancer. I always knew that my saliva would be thick and to be fair from about six months after it was much better. Just recently it has thickened up again and is difficult to move from the back of my throat. I’ve also started to get reflux again. Does anyone have any advice how to ease this. Thank you. 

Re: Head and neck cancer

27 Dec 2017 09:34 in response to Craftynana

Hi Craftynana, 

I'm sorry to hear you're having trouble with your saliva again and that you're finding it difficult to move it from the back of your throat. 

Do you still have any contact numbers for your medical team? If so, it may be worth getting in touch with them to see what they suggest. Alternatively, you can give our cancer nurses a call about this tomorrow when they return to work after the Christmas break. Their freephone number is 0808 800 4040 and are available Monday - Friday between 9a.m - 5p.m so do give them a call when you can as they may be able to offer some advice.

I've had a look around the forum and found two members - @Vatch ‍ and @Newlymarried ‍ -‍ that have had experience of throat cancer and may be able to help too so have tagged them in this post. Hopefully they will pop when they can by to offer their input. 

Also, I'm not sure if you've heard of this organisation already, but if not, I thought I would include a link to it just in case. It's called the Mouth Cancer Foundation and they have a lot of information and advice on their website which may be useful to you at this time as well.

I hope this helps Craftynana and that you're able to find a way to manage this soon.

Kind regards, 

Steph, Cancer Chat Moderator

Re: Head and neck cancer

3 Jan 2018 23:15 in response to Craftynana

Hi there crafty

hows things coming along?

do you still have the same problems, if so Coe back and update us and perhaps we can provide some useful tips


happy new year



Re: Head and neck cancer

4 Jan 2018 08:27 in response to Vatch
Hi. The reflux has settled down a bit but only because I have been taking Lansaprozol before my evening meal. I was prescribed these during treatment so still have these on repeat prescription. The thick saliva is still there. I have tried not to get over anxious about it. My next check up is not until 8th February and it should have been in November. The hospital kept failing to find me an appointment and when they did for December subsequently cancelled it. I have had to chase this again and have been given this date. Thank you for contacting me.

Re: Head and neck cancer

4 Jan 2018 23:49 in response to Craftynana

Hi crafty

yep welcome to the lansaprozol club .... apparently it’s a side effect of the chemo ... or mine was so I was told ... I started to get chronic reflux during treatment

im now 3.5 years post treatment and still need the lansaprosal ... 30 ml each day in the evening and if I miss it it will catch up with me the next day

christmas is a real pain too .... too much picky rich food does not go down well ... and although I have a good range of taste back ... butter ladened pastries and too many savoury things cakes back to haunt me

i can’t do chocolate or many sweet things any more so savoury is my vice

not cheese though ... it cements my mouth shout .... yep ... that’s the minimal saliva kicking in

hang in there and keep taking the tablets

shout if you want to know anything else


Re: Head and neck cancer

5 Jan 2018 09:20 in response to Vatch
Hi Vatch. Thank you so much, this has put my mind at rest. My family have been pestering me to go to the doctor but I didn’t feel I had reason enough to go especially with all the information in the media. I’m with you on the chocolate it gives me a burning sensation in the back of my throat. I do keep trying though especially when people buy you them. It’s not a bad thing not too have it. I too like savouries better. I read through a load of information I was given and it says that anxiety can cause the reflux/heartburn sensation so that won’t have helped either. So keep calm and keep taking the tablets it is. Thank you so much again. Craftynana.

Re: Head and neck cancer

10 Jan 2018 10:23 in response to Craftynana

Hi craftynana

i had tonsil cancer and have the same problems as yourself with silva and taste and swallowing and of course acid . I was talking tablets to help control the acid but I didn’t like them so I thought I would try something different, I have porridge in the morning but would get more acid an hour to an hour and a half before I went to bed so I tried an evening bowl of porridge. This has worked a treat for me and I seem to sleep better too. I don’t get acid anymore. I’m not saying it will work for everybody but you never know if it might help you. Take care bean