British Lung Foundation
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wife with previous throat cancer and current copd and bronchitis

my wife had throat cancer surgery and radiation therapy approx. 1 & 1/2 years ago. Along with that she has developed copd and (sometimes acute bronchitis. Both of these have been the causal effect of a thick, tenuous mucus. Without going into great detail, we have tried so many different items and approaches to help thin and rid her of this terrible, terrible plague. The mucus has greatly affected her ability to swallow, as well as causing serious breathing problems. I should mention that she uses a g tube for liquids and solids, since the surgery and radiation has (hopefully temporarily) rendered her unable to swallow.

Can someone give me so info that can be helpful?

Thanks very much.

7 Replies

I cant give you helpful advice, Ricky but like you to know that I am thinking of you. I know how you must be feeling. I really think you need professional advice. Could you explore the Macmillan cancer website? Ask to talk to the consultant? All my very best wishes to you and your wife. Love Pergola xx

1 like

Hi, it must be very difficult for her and worrying for you both.

A call to the BLF helpline would be of benefit to you I'm sure. They are wonderful and have up to date knowledge and information.

03000030555 a UK number. 9am - 5pm Mon - Fri

Wishing luck with finding a solution. It's very tricky, if she was able to swallow I'd say drink loads to keep mucus as moist as possible. Some of us take Carbocisteine to break down mucus rendering it less sticky & easier to shift. P


Carbocistine works very well and comes in tablet or liquid. I could not use it as allergic, tongue swelling, so was given Atrovent inhaler. Magic clog shifter for me! Do check with BLF and Cancer specialist's as any meds could irritate the Op. site. Old fashioned I know but a steaming bowl of Friars Balsam might give some relief. Sending a 'hug' to your lady.



Sorry I cannot offer help, But I wish you both well.


I cannot help either,I'm afraid.But just want to send my love & best wishes,to you & your wife.Sorry to hear things not the best at the moment,& do hope things improve for you both,

Wens xxx


I too suffer from excessive mucus and it has become a major part of my life to cough it up but I think far less than your wife's problems. I use a Flutter and Mucadyne and hot steamy bowl with olbas oil and arm exercises.

Thinking of you. The other suggestions are great so phone BLF when you can.


I managed to get a referral from my gp to the local respiratory team. 2 nurses came to see me at home last week. I have only been clearing the mucus from the top of my lungs, not the bottom of lungs. They showed me a technique called "percussion" which is helping. I have further appointments to see how I am getting on. Perhaps it is worth asking your gp if their is a team in your area as they are very experienced in lung problems.


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