Laryngeal cancer radiotherapy side effects (coughing)


Have finished 6 weeks of radiotherapy for T2 vocal chord cancer in jan and voice is slowly getting better and eating almost back to normal. The thing I am suffering with is a constant cough due to an excess of mucus/saliva in my throat, this is particularly bad at night when I'm lying down and I'm finding its keeping me awake nearly all night and driving me mad. I mentioned it to my consultant and he calmly said it was all normal and I should try streaming but nothing seems to help. Its embarrasing when I'm out or at work as the coughing can get so bad that I gag and it sounds like i'm being sick. I just wondered if anyone else had been thorough the same thing and might have any tips on how to control it. I'm find co-codomol helps and the liquid morphine but don't want to have to keep taking that for obious reasons. Please help!


  • Hi

    It's 7 weeks since my radio therapy finished, I had every day for 4 weeks. I've had 4 bouts of coughing, starts with a tickle in my throat, goes for for about 5 mins, yes I gag too and had a bout this evening. I had just finished my dinner, all that came up was frothy mucus. Had a coughing fit sat just gone, do hope its not going to be a regular thing, just wish the exoerts would say one way or other whether it will pass or its something thats always there now. First time it happened it was very scary as i couldnt get my breath and i live alone. Then it started one night while i was asleep and woke me up. I mentioned it to my consultant yesterday, he never said this was normal, just said I probably had a dry throat. Unfortunately I can't help you on how to prevent this but it is reassuring to know it's common. I'm going back onto morphine as I'm coming off the patches. I go back to see my ENT consultant in about 6 weeks, hopefully the radio therapy worked. I had lump removed begin of Feb stage one. My voice is getting stronger by the day, glad to say I'm eating normal. I still have to be careful not to take to large a mouthfuls of food or drink, as a few times it went done the wrong way. I do hope you are heading in the right direction. Take care 


  • My radiotherapy ended 12 January this year . No side effects until week3 of 4. Then fatique weight loss sore throat and the worst was hiccups 24 hours a day for 8 days . No sleep and wrenching with the hiccups . A gp gave me ant psychotic drugs which cured the hiccups in about an hour . 
    now I’ve got a cough I’ve had for a month . I think it’s my left vocal cord playing up which was where the cancer was . I don’t cough at night which is good but it’s taking a while to go . I still have muscle ache and am tired most of the time but hopefully that’ll go away . Stick with it