Ask a nurse

Do you have a question about cancer? Our Digital Nurse Ellen or one of our specialist nurses will aim to respond within 2 working days.

Leaking watery saliva.

Posted by

I was diagnosed with cancer of the mandible 9 years ago and had a re-section of the mandible. For the past year I've been having problems with saliva leaking from my lips and soiling my clothing. What,if anything can be done about this?

Ellen B - Macmillan

Hi ,

Thanks for your question to our dentists, Lynsey and Judith. I hope you don't mind me responding here - my name's Ellen and I work on the Community team here at Macmillan. 

I've moved your question over into 'Ask a Nurse' as our nurses will be better able to answer your question. They'll aim to respond within 2 working days. 

I can see you've joined the head and neck cancer group, and it looks as though our Champ has provided some great information already. I hope you find the group a source of comfort and support and if there's anything else myself or the team can support you with then please do not hesitate to get in touch. 

Best wishes,

Macmillan Community Team 

Linda - Macmillan
Posted by

Hi Durangodave,

Thanks for getting in touch and thanks to for directing you to the nurse’s page.

Unfortunately, problems with managing saliva can be troublesome following resection of the mandible. There are some measures that can be tried however these will depend on individual circumstances. They may work better for some and not for others, but there’s no harm in enquiring further.

As this has become more of a problem in the past year I’m unsure if you have been reviewed during this time. If you’re no longer being followed up it might be worth asking for an ENT or Speech and language therapy review. When there is a change in circumstances it’s always a good idea to be reviewed as there might be newer approaches to manage side effects.

It’s good to see you’ve posted in our Head and neck cancer group and I wonder if it would be helpful to contact the Swallows too, to see if the can offer other solution too.

I hope this helps and if we can provide further information or support please feel free to stay in touch

Best wishes Linda (Cancer Information Nurse Specialist)

Posted by

Thanks Linda for your excellent  advice. I will do as you suggest and I will also contact the Swallows.