A dry scratchiness in your throat and pain when swallowing can make it hard to eat or get a good night's sleep. Usually caused by a cold or the flu, a sore throat also can be a side effect of some breast cancer treatments.
The following treatments for breast cancer might cause a sore throat:
- radiation therapy
- hormonal therapy:
- Tykerb (chemical name: lapatinib), a targeted therapy
A sore throat also can be caused by some pain medications.
Managing a sore throat
If your sore throat lasts longer than a week, or if you have difficulty breathing, swollen or tender glands in your neck, or pus in your throat, call your doctor. You might have an infection. Try these tips to soothe a sore throat:
- Gargle with warm salt water at least once an hour to help ease pain.
- Stay hydrated with warm fluids such as tea or clear soup to soothe your throat.
- Drink warm water with honey and lemon to help ease pain.
- Eat soft, cool foods such as milkshakes and pudding to soothe the discomfort.
- Try throat lozenges to help relieve the pain. Menthol throat lozenges can cool nasal passages.
- Keep a humidifier or vaporizer in your bedroom. The cool mist can help soothe a swollen throat while you're sleeping.
- Avoid smoking and being around smoke — smoke can make your throat feel worse.
- See the tips on how to manage swallowing problems if you’re having difficulty swallowing.
Can we help guide you?
Create a profile for better recommendations
Breast self-exam, or regularly examining your breasts on your own, can be an important way to...
Eating When You Have Nausea and Vomiting
Almost all breast cancer treatments have varying degrees of risk for nausea and vomiting. Some...
Tamoxifen (Brand Names: Nolvadex, Soltamox)
Tamoxifen is the oldest and most-prescribed selective estrogen receptor modulator (SERM)....