Phlegm and Saliva filling in the mouth after tongue sarcoma

Posted by wretired2000 @wretired2000, Jun 15 7:31am

My husband had a sarcoma of the tongue and throat He was diagnosed in 10/20 and has been cured by radiation and immunotherapy. Now his mouth fills with mucus in great Quantities preventing him from being able to swallow food and also affects his speech. He has been on a feeding tube for over a year. The doctors do not know how to stop the flow. Next step to try is hyperbaric. Any one out there that has success with dealing with this problem.

Interested in more discussions like this? Go to the Head & Neck Cancer group.

Hi @wretired2000, this must be scary and concerning for you and your husband. I moved your message to the Head & Neck Cancer group (https://connect.mayoclinic.org/group/head-neck-cancer/) so you can connect with others like @alpaca @loli @ezg @drmiller and more.

@russparsons wrote about a similar excessive mucus issue in the Esophageal Cancer group and @mindyt describes her experience with hyperbaric oxygen (HBO) therapy here:
– Excessive Mucus with Esophageal Cancer: https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/excessive-mucus-with-esophageal-cancer/

Did your husband also have surgery?

REPLY

I am surprised that after radiation therapy he is producing so much saliva. My salivary glands were affected by radiation and I suffer from lack of saliva. I do not know what is worse:. Too much or too little.
I would study the hyperbaric treatment further. It can impact your lungs. It was recommended to me for tooth pulling and I refused it. Find more about it.
In Spanish we say that sometimes the broth is more expensive than the meatballs if you know what I mean

REPLY

Hello @wretired2000
Sorry your husband is having this distressing problem. I know a lot of head and neck cancer patients and I assumed the thick mucous stopped after the immediate radiation side effects wore off. Most of us are left with a dry mouth. Funnily enough, however, since my last surgery when I had implants, I have been experiencing alternatively a dry mouth and at times a thickened saliva. It's horrible. Soda water, sparkling water, ginger beer can help but are not good for the teeth. They sort of cut through the slime. Some moisturizing products like Oral 7 and Biotene can make the thick mucous/saliva a bit thinner.

REPLY
@alpaca

Hello @wretired2000
Sorry your husband is having this distressing problem. I know a lot of head and neck cancer patients and I assumed the thick mucous stopped after the immediate radiation side effects wore off. Most of us are left with a dry mouth. Funnily enough, however, since my last surgery when I had implants, I have been experiencing alternatively a dry mouth and at times a thickened saliva. It's horrible. Soda water, sparkling water, ginger beer can help but are not good for the teeth. They sort of cut through the slime. Some moisturizing products like Oral 7 and Biotene can make the thick mucous/saliva a bit thinner.

Jump to this post

Thanks for your response. He has tried Sprite mixed with water to be helpful.

REPLY

I am interested in knowing if he finds a solution. I too have been on a feeding tube as I can't swallow or open my mouth without tongue depressors. I have been through radiation and chemo and have excessive mucus. I use a water pick to help clear from my mouth.

REPLY
@wretired2000

Thanks for your response. He has tried Sprite mixed with water to be helpful.

Jump to this post

@wretired2000, will your husband try hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBO)?

@nbkod7b, how long has it been since you completed treatment? How does the water pick help you?

REPLY
@colleenyoung

@wretired2000, will your husband try hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBO)?

@nbkod7b, how long has it been since you completed treatment? How does the water pick help you?

Jump to this post

I had my last chemo treatment 4 months ago. I had lymphoma in my mouth. As a result, I can't swallow, move my tongue, or open my mouth. The water pick helps loosen saliva that forms a thick mucus like substance in my mouth.

REPLY

The water pick did not help. He continues to fill up with saliva and mucus. He saw the pulmonologists today and has been cleared to start the HBO treatment.

REPLY
Please sign in or register to post a reply.
  Request Appointment