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Oesophagitis question


EMandM

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Hi all,

I’m just entering Week 5 of radiotherapy… and over the weekend my children came down with a virus-which they gave to me. :( I’m now feeling horrible and can’t tell whether symptoms are oesophagitis or a virus/bug or both. I’d started feeling a bit of lump in my throat last week, which I put down to the radio. But swallowing is now soooo ridiculously painful, and paracetamol is barely helping. The weird thing is, the pain is mostly in my ears when I swallow and in the soft pallet at the top of my throat, rather than further down my throat (where the radio is aimed). I also have a horrible cough and am basically a mucous monster. Have others experienced this with oesophagitis… or is this more likely to be viral? 

…either way, I’ve just seen the thread on Manuka, so will be buying that asap!

Thanks,

Gini

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Hi Gini,

Sorry to hear you are having a hard time. I am obviously not a doctor, so take anything I say w a pinch of manuka (hoho!)

I too had a bit of a lump in my throat starting around week 5. My oncologist gave me some nasty numbing liquid to swallow before meals, but I hated it so I powered through. However, having recently had Covid and a sore throat, I can easily imagine that the combination of even a minor throat infection and the radiation could be nasty and lead to the kinds of symptoms you describe. But if you could get antacid/oxetacaine, it might be worth a shot for some temporary relief? Talk to the radio folks and see what they say. Hope you feel better soon, Rikke

p.s. Responded to your PM a few weeks ago but wasn’t sure you got it. No issues at all, but glad to hear you are still semi-standing. I am on my last week, doing SABR, so Friday can’t come soon enough.

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I had severe esophagitis and needed a palliative care specialist to prescribe methadone, which worked well for the pain. (I couldn't tolerate morphine or oxycodone, and my radiation oncologist was sympathetic but otherwise quite unhelpful.) I had to switch to a Fentanyl patch when I went on Tagrisso due to potential drug interaction, and that worked almost as well. 

I also was prescribed pantoprazole (Protonix) for the acid reflux. 

I had distinct pains: constant pain, pain swallowing and heart-attack level pain from acid reflux. It would take me an hour to drink one Ensure. 

You'll want to get the pain under control before you lose weight and become deconditioned like I was. If palliative care isn't available to you, then a pain management specialist is a good alternative. 

My esophagitis eventually healed after 5 months, and I came off the pain meds.

You have my sympathy. This is the worst part of radiation treatments. 

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