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To IP Port or Not IP Port - any feedback?

Posts: 3
Joined: Nov 2012

My mother is currently facing the decision of whether or not to have an IP port installed when her debulking surgery takes place in two weeks. We are grappling with this decision because her first 4 chemo treatments (via IV with Carbo/Taxil - not sure if I'm spelling that correctly) went great. Her numbers came way down (1090 to 17) and aside from hairloss she did not experience any negative side affects from the chemo. She actually felt stronger/better than she has in years. She is 72.

She is now having the de-bulking surgery in two weeks and the doctor wants her input on whether or not her next 3 chemo treatmetns will be IV (like the first four) or IP belly port. The doctor is telling her this type of chemo will be very hard for her.

We are of the mindset that she has done so well with the regular IV, why do the belly.  The doctor is of the mindset that since she has done so well with the IV, she will probably do well with the IP belly.   We need to make a decision within the week. 

We would greatly appreciate any input. Stage 4 ovarian.

Many thanks, her daughter, Traci.

Glad to be done's picture
Glad to be done
Posts: 569
Joined: Jul 2012

I started chemo after hysterectomy.   I did IV/IP cisplatain and taxol.  My cycle was an 8 an day cycle.  Day 1 (mon) I would have IV Taxol and at the same time IP cisplatiam.  Day 2 it was fluids and day 8 the following monday it was just I P taxol.  I did not have any problems with the IP chemo.  I would be bloated for a day or 2 after but no pain  or anything.    I am glad I did it.  I have been done with chemo and free of cancer since the end of June



2timothy1 7's picture
2timothy1 7
Posts: 348
Joined: Jan 2012

I had the IP port. It does cause some pressure in the abdomen. Stats show longer remission for those who use an IP port. Even though I finished my last chemo at end of may and my ca 125 is now rising (49).  So I'm wondering if it was really worth it for me to have gone through it. Who knows? Everyone's body is so different. I know I'm not much help here. Maybe others will chime in with their experience. Best of luck!

wholfmeister's picture
Posts: 315
Joined: Dec 2012

i had 3 rounds of IV taxol/cisplatin before I had an IP catheter placed during my debulking surgery in June. Then I had 5 months of taxol/carbo.  The first day was taxol IV, the next was carbo IP.  On day 8, I got IP taxol.  I had no problems other than the usual fatigue, chemo brain, and a sense of abdominal fullness.  It was not debilitating.  I was able to keep going to work (not saying I did a lot of work! haha!). I don't know if it made a difference, but I am a tall woman, about 175 pounds.  Maybe I had more room for the 2 liters of fluid!  Also, I never had ascites.  My oncologist said if I could tolerate it, IP would give me the best odds of remission.  I trusted him, and still do.  

JoanC's picture
Posts: 236
Joined: Jan 2009

I had IP and IV I have been in remission for 4 plus years. My onc. said it would give me best chance of staying in remission.Smile

I would do it again.

Glad to be done's picture
Glad to be done
Posts: 569
Joined: Jul 2012

My oncologist really gave me no choice.  She told me I was young and healthy besides this and it would give me the best chance of killing any lingering celss...  Let's hope she was right.  I have a 3 month follow up next Friday.  At last ck CA was at 10 and all was normal

abrub's picture
Posts: 1852
Joined: Mar 2010

It bathes the entire area and all organs contained in the peritoneum directly with chemo, thereby addressing an "escaped" cells.  In my case (for appendix cancer) I was told that the strength of the chemo used is over 300 times stronger than what they can do by IV, as it is not going directly into the blood stream.

I don't know about the side effects from the IP chemo used with ovarian cancer.  Mine had limited side effects, mostly bloating (but I had 4 liters of IP chemo - 2 liters day one, and 1 liter each days 2 and 3; repeat in 2 weeks.)

I like the idea of chemo directed at the affected area.  I know in my case (appendix cancer), that was much more important than the systemic chemo.

Good luck and best wishes,



Alexandra's picture
Posts: 1311
Joined: Jul 2012

I am not sure why you think that your mother is stage 4 before debulking. Usually staging is done during surgery. But if her doctors staged her 4 based on CT scan results, it means that her cancer has spread beyond abdomen and IP chemo is not an option. IP chemo is only done to stage 3, only if debulking was optimal (no disease over 1cm left) and only if the patient is otherwise healthy. Side effects are usually more severe than with systemic (IV) chemo, but statistically it adds 1.6 year to survival.

In my case (45 years old, stage 3C and optimal debulking) I agreed to the IP option and had IP port installed but it never healed properly and was never used. I finished 7 rounds of Taxol / Carboplatin chemo with IV.

Posts: 3
Joined: Nov 2012

Thanks Alexandra for your feedback. You are actually right, we do not know with 100% it is Stage 4. My mother's primary care physician, who diagnosed her after a cat scan, told her he thought it was stage 4 and we keep repeating that. We should stop. He said he thought it was, but to ask the oncologist he was referring us to at Magee's Women Hospital in Pittsburgh. We have never asked again for the stage and they have not said. I did read that it was determined after surgery. 

Thank you again for your feedback on the IP port. This network has been very helpful to our family.


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