Pancreatic Cancer Community
97 Members
Avatar universal

Foul taste associated with pancreatic cancer surgery?

Hello...my step-dad had a tumor in his pancreas removed about a month and a half ago...and they had to take a little bit of his stomach out and I believe his lung.  The prognosis was positive that they got it all...and for awhile, he had difficulty in eating.  That's normal...but after all this time, he still is getting nauseous... and says everything tastes like ashes or charcoal and it's making him sick.  He gradually is eating more, but he's still weak and not being very positive about his recovery.  A lady my mother knows went through the same thing and said she had the same taste sensation...although it went away after three weeks and she was able to fully recover.  No one seems to know what the problem is!   Apparently, his medication isn't causing it—or so they say...they were talking to him in the hospital one day when I went to visit about checking his medication.  Could this be lingering effects of medications taken earlier on working in conjunction?  He's being weaned off most and really isn't taking too many now.  Thank you!  If any one has a suggestion, please send me an email.  :-)
4 Responses
2827584 tn?1340583296
It is very common for patients to have altered taste for reasons that are not clear following biliary surgery. I have seen patients actually lose their taste for cigarettes so it must be pretty profound. In my experience it typically takes four to six weeks to regain more normal taste. The unfortunate thingnis that patients tend to eat less because of this issue and lose weight when it is vitally important to be re-building. Dietary supplements and pancreatic enzyme supplementation is frequently required to get them through this phase.
Avatar universal
Thank you for your response!  He is gradually eating more, but still very little....and I believe desperately wants to but it just makes him so sick.  My sister is an RN and I believe my mother did tell me yesterday when I stopped in about him going to to try Carnation Instant Breakfast.  
2827584 tn?1340583296
That's what I usually recommend. When mixed up it is very similar to many of the supplements and a lot cheaper.
4173379 tn?1355360151
Heavy metal toxicity can often leave a person with a metallic or similiar taste in their mouth...iron is often a culprit. Pancreatic damage is found in people with iron overload.

Have an Answer?
Didn't find the answer you were looking for?
Ask a question
Popular Resources
Here are 15 ways to help prevent lung cancer.
New cervical cancer screening guidelines change when and how women should be tested for the disease.
They got it all wrong: Why the PSA test is imperative for saving lives from prostate cancer
Everything you wanted to know about colonoscopy but were afraid to ask
A quick primer on the different ways breast cancer can be treated.
Get the facts about this disease that affects more than 240,000 men each year.