Neck Radiation - Any Experiences

Posted By
2/18/2013 3:23pm
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Replies: 5

After having a neck dissection my doctors (including specialist from Mayo) believe that I should go thorugh radiation - 5 treatments over the course of 2 1/2 weeks. I know the docs have to give you the list of all of the side effects - has anyone here went through this radiation therapy - and if so what were your side effects? Any suggestions on how to eleviate them?


I had 5 treatments after having wle and snb. I had 2 lymph nodes that were positive. The treatments made me tired some and because it is more intense radiation than 30 breast cancer radiation treatments, I always left with a headache which they kept telling me I shouldn't have but I talked with others that had the radiation and they had headaches, also. They let up a couple of weeks after the radiation was done. . A week after radiation was finished the area was raw and blistered for about 6 weeks.  I did not have a total lymph node removal, just the 2 that showed up. Mine was 9mm deep and they felt that was the best treatment. I am NED 15 months. I still worked every day I wasn't having treatment except the last day i had, I was sick and missed work. I went back next day, so really not too bad. I have regular testing-CT/ ultrasounds but no other treatments.

Hope this helps you some!

alabama girl

. Don't tell God how Big your storm is, Tell the storm how BIg your GOD is!

My original oncologist, in preparing me for what was coming after surgery, had described a focused radiation treatment with little side effects. I then had the neck nodes (20+) resection done at Moffitt and the surgeon referred me to a radiation center where they described a wider area of radiation and many more treatments. They warned me of a loss of taste buds.  I went back to the original oncologist who referred me to a colleague in his hospital who ended up doing a more focused, higher-dosed treatment with fewer sessions.  I don't remember any side effects and my taste is just fine.  My neck is still stiff but I am sure that is from the surgery. 



ps: My wife reminded me that my skin was red but I didn't feel any burning. I was, and mostly still am, numb from the surgery.  And my mouth was dry. They recommended biotine.  My mouth is fine now.



Ihad radiation on my neck this past summer. I had 240ads 5 days a week for 4 weeks.  The 5 treatments over 2.5 weeks that others have mentioned is standard, but apparently there was a new study out of Australia that showed my course of treatment was effective.  

I had red skin, that then became "snake"skin , very dry.  Also had an ulcer or two in my throat so it was difficukt to swallow.  I lost 30 pounds durng my treatment.  Also felt very tired, and dry mouth wth low saliva production.  I had one of my saliva glands removed in surery so that was a major factor.  

Hope this helps!  



Anonymous - (2/19/2013 - 2:28pm)

Before my dad received neck radiation, the doctors had him get a thorough dental exam and advised him to address any major dental work (root canal, extraction, etc...) before getting treatment.  The reason is, the radiation may effect tiny blood vessels in the jaw nourishing the teeth and could cause premature decay.  The risk is that if a patient were to need to get major dental work done later, the wounds wouldn't heal as well and quickly which may lead to infection.