North Houston Cancer Clinics

Chemotherapy Education (Managing Taste Changes)

Taste Changes

Some people notice things taste differently during or after cancer treatment. Examples of these changes include:

Food tastes differently than before, mainly bitter, sweet, and/or salty foods.

Food smells different or certain smells are stronger.

Food may taste bland.

Every food may have the same taste.

o A metallic or chemical taste in your mouth, especially after eating meat or other high-protein foods.

What causes taste changes during cancer treatment?

Taste changes can be caused by many things related to cancer treatment:

Medications to treat cancer

• About half of people receiving cancer treatment have taste changes.

• This usually stops 3 to 4 weeks after treatment ends.

Radiation treatment to the head or neck may affect taste buds and sense of smell.

• This usually starts to improve 3 weeks to 2 months after treatment ends.

• Taste changes may continue to improve for up to 1 year.

Other causes:

• Surgery to the nose, throat, or mouth

• Dry mouth

• Mouth sores

• Nausea and vomiting

• Dehydration

• Heartburn

• Medications to help with side effects of cancer treatment

North Houston Cancer Clinics

Your Cancer Care Expert is just one call away. 3115 College Park Dr. Suite #108 The Woodlands, TX 77384