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port versus vein??

Posts: 266
Joined: Jun 2007

I am relatively new to all this, dx April 2007, stage 3 retal, surgery, half way through xeloda and radiation treatments, then a rest and back to chemo for 4 months. I have a choice of receiving chemo through port or vein. Would someone care to comment on this, which is best??

robinvan's picture
Posts: 1014
Joined: May 2007

I had a port a few years ago for 5FU. It was very convenient, it allowed for the use of the ambulatory pump so I could take my chemo home. I was on chemo for 6 months (12 cycles). I am now getting avastin and irenotecan through an IV infusion in the vein. I'll only have 6 treatments and it's working fine. You would need the port if you're doing the 48 hour 5FU via a pump. But perhaps that is not what is planned.
Others will no doubt share more information.
Good Luck!! Rob

KathiM's picture
Posts: 8077
Joined: Aug 2005

Port. Hands down. I had mine for 2 years, 2 cancer chemo treatments...they even fed me thru it when I was hospitalized for a bowel obstruction...

There is a new kind of port, with a bigger surface, that is now being used that can handle infusions for CT Scans, etc, as well as chemo...my sister just had one put in to start her 5FU/mitomycin chemo for stage 3 rectal...

BTW, is yours squamous cell (relatively new type of rectal cancer) or adenocarcinoma, if you don't mind me asking.

I had stage III squamous cell of the rectum 2 years ago...fully recovered...then stage II breast cancer, unrelated...my port was my faithful friend thru it all...removed now...

Hugs, Kathi

Posts: 17
Joined: Jan 2006

I did vein. I had good veins and original intent was 3 cycle of 6 sessions each. I had an additional cancer (lung) and had 4 or more,longer chemo sessions. They used full strength Drano and I and my veins got tired of the needle before it was over. If I had it to do over I go with a port!

4law's picture
Posts: 112
Joined: Dec 2004

I used a port for a portable pump for approximately 6 weeks prior to my surgery and then for months and months following my surgery. It came in very handy, especially when I was hospitalized. In my opinion it is a no-brainer. Why would you want to deal with injections into your veins -- you are getting stuck enough as it is now -- you are going through enough now -- make life a little easier on yourself. I would be surprised if anyone recommends against using a port. Good luck -- never give up.

Posts: 1
Joined: Jan 2008

I no longer have veins suitable chemo or for anaesthetist access except in neck(central line,very scary when you wake up,can't straiten neck,leaves nasty scar where you cant cover)Have had bard infusion port for 5 years it,s great.Get it flushed every 8 wks

Betsydoglover's picture
Posts: 1256
Joined: Jul 2005

Hi - I dont' actually know the answer. For whatever reason I had my oxaliplatin/Avastin infusions for my Stage IV cancer using my veins (which actually aren't great). I had wicked short term, acute neuropathy in the arm that received the infusion (after the second cycle). But I have had NO long term neuropathy. I had 6 cycles (combined with Xeloda). Bad infusion arm neuropathy for about a week after each infusion, but nothing long term.

After my third or fouth cycle the chemo nurses told my doc I should get a port (they felt sorry for me with my stiff arm), but she and I talked and she knew she wanted to give me a break and so we decided to forgo the port. Well, I've been on that "break" since December 2005. And while the acute neuropathy was a killer, I have absolutely no long term side effects, so I often wonder if my rare, but short term, infusion arm neuropathy prevented me from having longer term side effects.

That said, my onc did say that if we do this again, there will be a port. I personally am hoping not to have to do it again.

Take care,

scouty's picture
Posts: 1976
Joined: Apr 2004


My oncologist would not let me do Oxilaplatin and Avastin without a port for fear of bloodclots, especially from Avastin. I would never do chemo thru my veins unless it was an hour or two of 5FU only. The other chemo drugs are just too caustic and could wreck your veins with some significant long term side effects once you kick the ******* cells butts!!!

Go for the port, it makes it so much easier and less painful in my opinion.

Lisa P.

vinny3's picture
Posts: 933
Joined: Jun 2006

Welcome to the group. I have had a port for over 2 years and it is easy to have and makes the access for chemo easier. Save your veins as the chemo will eat them up.


Posts: 1961
Joined: Aug 2003

I have done both. I would go for the port. The chemo can really hurt your veins. Also the port leaves your hands free!

claud1951's picture
Posts: 429
Joined: Jun 2007

Welcome! You'll find this discussion group great and very informative. Everyone is so nice.

Get a port for sure!! I am Stage 3 colon. Went in the first time and they tried a vein and couldn't get it...My arms were sore for weeks! After they tried for a while...I said...gotta have a Port! So much easier and safer for the drugs to get into.

Good luck to you

Posts: 372
Joined: Aug 2006

If your on xeloda why not continue with it and avoid a port/vein decision altogether? Xeloda is nasty stuff with side effects but its effective and comes in pill form.

kerry's picture
Posts: 1317
Joined: Jan 2003

I have had 3 ports and if and when I go back on IV chemo, I definitely would have another port put in. It is less painful to administer the chemo and so much more convenient. NO WAY would I go straight to the vein. Been there done that!


Posts: 118
Joined: Mar 2005


I thought I was the only one who had their port removed over and over. I've had 2 so far, but looks like I may need another before long, so if I do, I won't have it removed until I'm 2 years clean. My first was really uncomfortable, but the 2nd was good; I just didn't think I'd need it again since I've decided not to take 5FU anymore.

apache4's picture
Posts: 272
Joined: Jul 2007

I had my port put in a year ago before starting chemo. I was doing the 44 hour pump thing so it is great taking it home and not having to be in a hospital or something. I love it. I will never have it taken out! It will surely outlive me and it is working very well. when I developed a huge bruise on my leg before a CT scan they insisted on using my port even though I usually us a vein for that...safety precaution. It is also comfortable and I just have to be careful to not get it accidently hit (like when I do Taekwondo...no sparring)

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