The Benefits of Ports During Chemotheropy

Portacaths, or ports, are used to deliver intravenous chemotherapy drugs. Using a chemo port is a safe way to deliver the drugs, and avoids the patient having to go through multiple needle sticks into the veins for chemo and blood tests.

The chemotherapy port sits just under the skin. Attached to it is a catheter, which goes into a large vein. In addition to helping administer the chemo medications and facilitating blood draws, it results in less chance of the drugs leaking out of the vein. In the event this happens, skin and other tissues can be damaged.

When the chemo port is used, a needle is placed through the skin and into the port’s chamber. Drugs are injected there for chemo, and blood can also be drawn out for testing.

Between chemo treatments there is no needle or anything else that requires special care. Once treatment is finished, the chemotherapy port can be taken out. It’s a simple procedure and is usually done on an outpatient basis.

This Medical Minute cancer information video about using a chemo port was produced by Dr. Stephen J. Lemon of Oncology Associates to help provide useful cancer information to cancer patients and survivors.