I had triple negative breast cancer, I had eight doses of chemo and a tram flap mastectomy, reconstruction. Six months after chemotherapy I started getting a dry throat,then a few weeks later I developed a dry sinus as well. In the last few months my mouth has become dry also. I have seen three GP’s and I have also had a chat with an oncology nurse at the hospital. I have also gone to see a dietitian and a dentist. These symptoms have lasted six months and are still ongoing with no real improvement. None of the medical professionals I have seen can explain why I have these symptoms or diagnose a cause. The hospital is so clogged with patients because they lack the specialists required to see them all; that there is no hope for me to see them unless I become urgent.
I would like to know if anyone else has had these symptoms? Or if anyone has heard of this condition before and what was done about it.
My next step is to go privately to a ENT specialist in Tauranga. I dont even know if I can afford this given its about $4000+ for an endoscopic procedure. I am lost and anxious about my future and I am feeling let down by the hospital.
Welcome to CancerChatNZ
sorry you are having such a rough time with dry mouth and sinus problems. Dry mouth can be a result of the aftermath of cancer treatments usually worse with radiation to head and neck area affecting salivary glands, but can also be due to chemo – it’s less usual though to get this 6 months after treatment as it tends to improve after treatment finishes- however you may find this info on ‘living with dry mouth’ is helpful -https://wellington.cancernz.org.nz/en/cancer-information/treatment/living-with-dry-mouth/ If you’d like a copy of the booklet sent to you please call us on 0800 CANCER (226 237).
Julie, Cancer Information Nurse and forum moderator