Chemotherapy Port: The Risks and Benefits

By: Breast Cancer Answers®

Dr. Margileth: Having been around the oncology world for several decades now, one of the huge advances in chemotherapy not only adult oncology but also especially maybe pediatric oncology has been the development of ports. These are intravenous access devices that allow for much easier administration of chemotherapy such that the poor nurse and the poor patient don’t have to go through being stuffed a number of times to administer the chemotherapy. The other dilemma with using the arm for chemotherapy is that there are a number of drugs, Adriamycin being the main one, that if the drug comes out of the vein it can cause a lot of skin necrosis and ultimately may need a skin graft by a plastic surgeon.

So that in patients who have poor veins or patients that are getting a long course of chemotherapy, a port is a real boon to both the patient and the nurse. The ports are mostly fairly foolproof now. The complications such as clotting or bleeding or drug extravasation are very, very rare.

In general the port would come out right after the chemotherapy has been completed. So that the benefits of a port far outweigh the complications obviously when the port is in, one needs to look for infection and clots, but actually those are quite rare. So the ports have been a very important part of making chemotherapy an easier experience than it was before when finding a vein could have been very-very frustrating and difficult. ***** Hi, I am Dr. Jay Harness and I want to share with you an important information that I believe that every newly diagnosed patient with breast cancer needs to know. Susan Denver: “I am a breast cancer survivor.” Katherine Stockton: “I am a breast cancer survivor.” Coree: “I am a breast cancer survivor…” Susan Denver: “…and I want every woman to know…” Katherine Stockton: “…about personalized breast cancer treatment…” Susan Denver: “…and the Genomic Test.” Coree: “A test that helps guide a woman and her doctor…” Katherine Stockton: “…to the best treatment options for her.” Susan Denver: “Pass it on!”.

Chemotherapy Port: The Risks and Benefits

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