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Bowel cancer treatment and side effects


Ear problems - chemo related?

Hello awesome people,

So I had my 4th round of xelox just under 2 weeks ago. For the past few days on and off I’ve been getting a mild blocked feeling in my left ear. I can still hear but it feels blocked. I’ve tried that pinching your nose and blowing manoeuvre and I can hear things “unblocking” but it doesn’t last.

This did happen for a few days during the last cycle but it disappeared after a few days so I didn’t mention it to the team.

I did a bit of research and read that platinum based chemo can cause ear problems... was just curious if anyone else had something similar and any advice on relieving it...

I’m due to see my gp next week if it doesn’t go.



Thanks for your reply @Lirio345 I will contact my team on Monday morning and the chemo helpline and see what they say.
Thanks! :x::x::x:


Hi @strongsami I was in Folfox chemo and I too had some troubles with my ears, they used to pop quite a lot and has left me with a bit of tinnitus. I mentioned it too my Onc and after a dose reduction the popping stopped :x::x:


@strongsami I had an ear problem as well. Apparently it was to do with the nerves. It was more obvious when I had Panitumumab rather than just the FOLFOX. I was just given paracetamol and codeine to help with the pain by the GP :x::x:


Hi @Salgal and @Jomo9 and thanks for your replies. I’m worried it’s an infection as it feels swollen behind my earlier and now I have discomfort on my left side when I swallow :( soooooo frustrating! Especially as this is my last cycle and I’m due to start radiotherapy in a couple of weeks...


Do u hv an NHS walk-in Centre nearby where u could get it checked out ? :x:


Hello @strongsami, sorry to sound organising, but if you have a temperature or you think you may have an infection, you should definitely ring your chemo helpline now. You will see this advice in your chemo diary or leaflets. Let us know how you get on, Kim :x::x:

Bear G

Hi @strongsami
I agree with the others, it’s better to err on the side of caution.
Do you have an out of hours contact number for your chemo team? If not then please call your GPs out of hours service.
But before you do please check your temperature as they’re sure to ask you.
Big hugs


Thanks for the advice @Lirio345 @Bear G @determinedjoan I’m actually in Italy and my chemo line is only open during office hours Mon-Fri, my GP doesn’t have an out of hours number and opens at 3pm on Monday. (Welcome to Italy!)
My temperature is normal and I feel fine in myself. If things worsen there’s an emergency walk in clinic and phone line I can contact - like the nhs. I’ll just monitor everything.
Thanks again everyone. Things are much more organised in the UK that’s for sure!
;) :x::x::x:

Bear G

Not having a temperature is good news @strongsami


Ooooh, that puts things in perspective @strongsami, I hope that you are feeling ok today? Kim :x::x:


Thanks @Bear G and @Lirio345 I’m feeling better today, ear less blocked and less pain when swallowing, no temperature. Am feeling tired in general but pretty sure that’s a combo of rubbish weather and running after my 2 year old in Ikea 🙈😂
Thanks all, happy Sunday to everyone! :x::x::x:


That’s good to hear @strongsami, interesting combination of a two year old in Ikea! Take care, Kim :x::x:


It was tiring to say the least hahaha!!! Thanks so much @Lirio345 enjoy the rest of the weekend and thanks for your support


Hey all,

Just a little update... So I flagged it with my onc team and they weren't overly concerned, told me to follow up with my GP which I did and she looked in my ears and said my eardrums looked "opaque" and that it could be a catarrh build up so she prescribed me some drops... well after 3 days everything cleared up and all was well.

I started radiotherapy with capecitabine tabs 2 days ago... have had a very mild sore throat for 2-3 days which cleared up today but guess what replaced it? Blinking blocked ear, worse than last time! I have written to my onc team and waiting for reply, am too late to see my gp but have started using the drops again. No temperature. I will do some steam inhalations tonight and if it's not better tomorrow I'll go to the Italian equivalent of the NHS walk in... very very frustrating!

On another note, radiotherapy is very fast. So it's called TOMOTHERAPY and it's like a cat scan, I lie on a bed and go through a ring where I can hear this thing whizzing around the ring. It's over in a flash! Have to have a full bladder to do it. So far so good.

Hope you're all well,
Thanks for reading
Sami :x::x::x:


hi @strongsami , glad to hear that your doing ok ish,hope everything clears up and treatment goes well, all the best john. :x::x::x:

greyhound gal

Hi @strongsami , good to hear from you 😀. It sounds that in general you’re doing well, which is brilliant. Hopefully you’ll get your ear sorted quickly. Onwards and upwards, Wendy :x::x:


Thank you @greyhound gal Wendy, I am doing pretty well overall, had a lovely Easter, my parents were over from the UK which was lovely and I felt very well :)

I've just done some inhalations with olbas oil, now going to have a hot drink then to bed with my nasal drops... hopefully things are better in the morning... otherwise it's off to the "Guardia Medica" i.e. walk in centre.

Hope you had a good Easter too!

greyhound gal

I did thank you @strongsami 👍
I’m a bit addicted to Olbas Oil! The first sign of a headache and I’ve got it plastered on a tissue, and sniffing away! Lol :x::x:


Afternoon all,
A little update from me - so yesterday the ear thing seemed a lot better but woke up today with pain again and totally blocked. So off I went to the « guardia medica » aka Italian version of a walk in centre.

I gave the doctor the full low down on my « situation », she had a look in my ears and said my left eardrum was swollen as is my throat - looks like a middle ear infection so antibiotics it is!!!

I won’t be able to get hold of my oncology team till tomorrow morning (the chemo line also only opens tomorrow). She already told me that I was fine to take my cape tabs. I’m assuming I’m also ok to do the radio?! Does anyone have experience of this? I know I will find out tomorrow but am just curious...

Little man is down for a nap so I’m going to have one too 😊

Thanks as always for listening