Getting a port for chemo or not?


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September 7, 2015 at 3:10 pm  #1271079    


do most people get a port if they will be having chemo (especially a strong drug like cisplatin) ?

The plan is for my fiance to go thru the 1st round (3 days) of chemo and then put the port in after that. I think someone sort of dropped the ball about a port, perhaps cause they though his veins looked large and and port wasn’t needed ~ does that make any sense?

I don’t like the idea of him having the chemo in the veins, but seems we have no choice cause we don’t want the chemo/radiation to get started asap

September 8, 2015 at 6:06 am  #1271084    
JimC Forum Moderator
JimC Forum Moderator

Hi healmymom,

Dr. West has written this about ports:

“As a physician taking care of cancer patients, I don’t hesitate to recommend it for any patient who I’d envision to need chemo on any kind of regular basis. I wouldn’t necessarily recommend it for someone who was just going to get a few cycles of adjuvant chemotherapy and then be done with any need for IVs (hopefully), but for someone who would need regular blood draws and infusions, they can be great. I’m also especially inclined to recommend them for anyone who our infusion nurse says needs one because their venous access is poor. If our infusion nurses can’t get good veins reliably, it’s a good indicator that this is someone who will be well served by a port.

Infections are possible but pretty rare: it’s under the skin and not exposed to anything. Clots can happen, but they’re not that common. A temperamental port that may need to occasionally have blood thinning medication pushed through is fairly common, but they work very well for the majority of my patients, and most of my patients who get them are very happy they did. And I’d say about half get one, and half have good enough veins or a limited enough need for infusions that they don’t need one.”

It sounds as though at first it was thought that a port wasn’t needed because venous access seemed good, but after some difficulty that was reconsidered.

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