While you might know that chemotherapy and radiation can cause side effects such as nausea and fatigue, you might not know they can also cause you to lose your sense of smell and taste. “It doesn’t happen to everyone,” says Haythem Ali, M.D., a medical oncologist with the Henry Ford Cancer Institute.
Can cancer make you lose your taste?
Indeed, the most distressing symptom in patients with advanced cancer is gastrointestinal abnormalities, whereas the change in taste is the fourth most common symptom after dry mouth, weight loss, and early satiety (Komurcu et al., 2002).
Can a tumor cause loss of smell and taste?
Tumors in this location may cause symptoms such as loss of smell and taste, blurred vision, memory loss, headaches, fatigue, nausea and vomiting, and personality changes.
What kind of cancer causes metallic taste in mouth?
Patients being treated with chemotherapy or radiation — especially for cancers of the head and neck — may experience a range of changes in taste and smell, including a metallic taste sometimes referred to as “chemo mouth.”
How long does it take to get taste back after neck radiation?
Taste changes caused by radiation treatment usually start to improve 3 weeks to 2 months after treatment ends. Taste changes may continue to improve for about a year. If salivary glands are harmed, then the sense of taste may not fully return to the way it was before treatment. Other causes.
Does cancer cause weird mouth taste?
Chemotherapy, radiation therapy, or the cancer itself may cause food to taste different to cancer patients. Some people have a bitter or a metallic taste in their mouth.
What causes losing taste?
Loss of taste is a common symptom of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), salivary gland infection, sinusitis, poor dental hygiene, or even certain medicines. The medical term for a complete loss of taste is ageusia. A partial loss of taste is called dysgeusia.
What is an ulcerating tumor?
Ulcerating cancers are sometimes called fungating cancers (tumours) or wounds. Fungating describes what the cancer might look like. They can grow in the shape of a fungus or cauliflower. These wounds start when a tumour growing under the skin breaks through the skin’s surface.
What was your first brain tumor symptom?
First signs and symptoms of a brain tumor may be severe headaches and seizures. Severe, persistent headaches that may not be related to an existing illness such as migraine is considered a common finding in patients with a brain tumor. Pain may be worse in the mornings and may be associated with nausea or vomiting.
What kind of tumor causes loss of smell?
When a cancer starts specifically in the nerves that affect your sense of smell, it is known as olfactory neuroblastoma. (Esthesioneuroblastoma is another name for this type of cancer.) An olfactory neuroblastoma often happens on the roof of the nasal cavity.
Why do I have a nasty taste in my throat?
Bad taste, also known as dysgeusia, is a common symptom of gastrointestinal reflux disease, salivary gland infection (parotitis), sinusitis, poor dental hygiene, and can even be the result of taking certain medicines.
Does your body smell when you have cancer?
People aren’t able to smell cancer, but you can smell some symptoms associated with cancer. One example would be an ulcerating tumor. Ulcerating tumors are rare. If you have one, it’s quite possible it will have an unpleasant odor.
Why do I have a weird taste in my mouth?
The most common reasons for a bad taste in your mouth have to do with dental hygiene. Not flossing and brushing regularly can cause gingivitis, which can cause a bad taste in your mouth. Dental problems, such as infections, abscesses, and even wisdom teeth coming in, can also cause a bad taste.
Is loss of taste a side effect of radiation therapy?
Radiation therapy to the head and neck area can damage your taste buds and sense of smell. It can cause xerostomia (dry mouth caused by a decrease in or loss of saliva), which can make taste changes worse and can cause a loss of interest in eating.
What are the side effects of radiation to the neck?
People who get radiation to the head and neck might have side effects such as:
- Soreness (or even open sores) in the mouth or throat.
- Dry mouth.
- Trouble swallowing.
- Changes in taste.
- Tooth decay.
- Swelling in the gums, throat, or neck.
What is chemo mouth?
But many patients are surprised by one of the most common side effects of this treatment: oral mucositis – also called “chemo mouth.” Five to 10 days following an initial chemotherapy treatment, inflammation and sores can develop on the tongue, gums and anywhere along the digestive tract.