How JustAnswer Works:

  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.

Ask Dr. D. Love Your Own Question

Dr. D. Love
Dr. D. Love, Doctor
Category: Medical
Satisfied Customers: 17971
Experience:  Family Physician for 10 years; Hospital Medical Director for 10 years.
21597572
Type Your Medical Question Here...
Dr. D. Love is online now

My brother has cancer of the tongue. He had 18 hours surgery

Resolved Question:

My brother has cancer of the tongue. He had 18 hours surgery to remove partial tongue
and replace with thigh muscle. His lymph nodes on his neck was cleared. After a month he went for chemotherapy and radiation therapy for 6 weeks. He completed his chemotherapy
and radiation therapy. He complained of tightness of his throat and difficulty to cough out
the phlegm. He told me that as the days go by, the neck tightness became worse and he regretted going for radiation therapy. Is there any treatment for this kind of condition? I'm
a nursing officer and I feel so helpless as I do not know how to help him. He has complained
this problem to his ENT doctor and his surgeon but no remedy was given to him. Could you please advise me what I can help him. Thank you very much.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Medical
Expert:  Dr. D. Love replied 2 years ago.
It will help if you could provide some further information:
Is the neck tightness affecting the ability to swallow or speak?
If it is affecting his ability to swallow, does it affect solids or liquids (or both)?
Does it affect the range of motion of the neck?

Customer: replied 2 years ago.

He speaks with a slur. He has PEG tube for his feeding. He can't swallow solids or liquid, only saliva. When he speaks or move his neck, he felt the tightness of the neck.

Expert:  Dr. D. Love replied 2 years ago.
Are they expecting that he will regain the ability to swallow?
Does the throat tightness cause any shortness of breath?

Customer: replied 2 years ago.

His Doctor did not inform him about his ability to swallow later on. The throat tightness gets him to cough out phlegm quite often. When he has difficulty coughing out the phlegm he will experience shortness of breath.

Expert:  Dr. D. Love replied 2 years ago.
Thank you for the additional information.

There are several issues to consider in this situation.

Throat tightness is one of the possible complications of radiation therapy because of inflammation that is caused by the radiation. There is no direct treatment of the problem, although it may improve spontaneously.

However, there are several option to consider to ease the symptoms associated with the problem. It may help to ease inflammation or discomfort associated with the problem by using an anti-inflammatory medicine, either orally or by gargling with aspirin. Since he is unable to swallow, gargling may also be an issue, but his doctor can say whether he can try to gargle. Gargling with warm salt water also may be soothing. It also may help to use a medicine to help the body clear the phlegm, such as guaifenesin. If he were swallowing, it would be common to consult with a Speech Therapist, as these also assess the swallowing function, but this is less of an issue since he is not swallowing.

If the tightness is more severe and there is a small passage through the area, then it may be necessary to consider a dilation of the area. A tight passage is usually more of a problem with swallowing than with breathing, as the tightness needs to be greater to affect breathing, but a tight passage that affects either function may need dilation. Since he is not swallowing, the issue would be whether it is causing any shortness of breath, and primarily shortness of breath that is not associated with coughing.

If you need any clarification, please let me know.

Dr. D. Love, Doctor
Category: Medical
Satisfied Customers: 17971
Experience: Family Physician for 10 years; Hospital Medical Director for 10 years.
Dr. D. Love and 2 other Medical Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

My brother was given tab.Fluimucil 600mg for his phlegm. He was also given some solutions for him to gargle. He still has fungal infection on his mouth and given Nystatin cream to apply. He had been assessed by the Speech Therapist and found not ready to take orally. Could you please elaborate more on Dilation of the area and by whom when his condition warrants such treatment.

Expert:  Dr. D. Love replied 2 years ago.
Dilation is most often done by using a balloon instrument that is passed through the tight area deflated and then inflated to stretch open the tight area. The is something that would be done by the ENT physician if it were necessary.

What Customers are Saying:

 
 
 
  • I feel so much better today, and upon further investigation believe that there is a chance that the responses I got saved me FROM a serious, even life threatening situation. I am very grateful to the experts who answered me. Susan O.
< Previous | Next >
  • I feel so much better today, and upon further investigation believe that there is a chance that the responses I got saved me FROM a serious, even life threatening situation. I am very grateful to the experts who answered me. Susan O.
  • Wonderful service, prompt, efficient, and accurate. Couldn't have asked for more. I cannot thank you enough for your help. Mary C.
  • This expert is wonderful. They truly know what they are talking about, and they actually care about you. They really helped put my nerves at ease. Thank you so much!!!! Alex
  • Thank you for all your help. It is nice to know that this service is here for people like myself, who need answers fast and are not sure who to consult. GP
  • I couldn't be more satisfied! This is the site I will always come to when I need a second opinion. Justin
  • Just let me say that this encounter has been entirely professional and most helpful. I liked that I could ask additional questions and get answered in a very short turn around. Esther
  • Wonderful service, prompt, efficient, and accurate. Couldn't have asked for more. I cannot thank you enough for your help. Mary C.
 
 
 

Meet The Experts:

 
 
 
  • Family Physician

    Family Physician

    Doctor

    Satisfied Customers:

    2418
    GP with over 27 years experience including emergency medicine
< Previous | Next >
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/FA/FamilyPhysician/2013-8-31_191624_JA550x500Photo.64x64.jpg Family Physician's Avatar

    Family Physician

    Doctor

    Satisfied Customers:

    2418
    GP with over 27 years experience including emergency medicine
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/DO/DoctorRich/2012-9-12_72454_Doctorweb.64x64.jpg Dr. Natasha's Avatar

    Dr. Natasha

    Doctor

    Satisfied Customers:

    7887
    American Board Certified in Emergency Medicine, Ivy League trained
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/DR/DrK99/newpic2.64x64.jpg Dr. K.'s Avatar

    Dr. K.

    Board Certified MD

    Satisfied Customers:

    255
    Board certified with experience in primary care.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/agketch/2008-7-14_184046_drketchresized.jpg Dr. Ketch's Avatar

    Dr. Ketch

    Board Certified Physician

    Satisfied Customers:

    76
    Medical Degree, Former Assistant Professor at School of Medicine at Yale University
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/JA/JACUSTOMERjtu60wne/2011-2-14_183449_passportphoto2.64x64.jpg docwithheart's Avatar

    docwithheart

    Board Certified Physician

    Satisfied Customers:

    0
    Board certified pediatrician, with special experience in general pediatrics, hospital pediatrics, and pediatric cardiology
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/DR/drappapo/2013-8-16_22576_drdavid.64x64.jpg Dr. David's Avatar

    Dr. David

    Board Certified Physician

    Satisfied Customers:

    224
    Treat children/young adults, former chief resident, multiple publications
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/TA/tazechip/2012-6-7_135230_drpic.64x64.png Dr. Chip's Avatar

    Dr. Chip

    Board Certified Physician

    Satisfied Customers:

    12373
    20 yrs. in practice, includinge surgery, general medicine, addiction medicine and pain.
 
 
 

Related Medical Questions