A port can provide a more effective way of delivering drug therapy such as chemotherapy for people with early stage or advanced/metastatic cancer:
Port placement is an outpatient procedure that takes about 2 to 3 hours. You can have systemic treatments the same day, if you wish. Placing and using a port involves several steps:
- A surgeon implants the device under the skin, usually in the chest.
- The port is attached to a catheter (a thin, flexible tube) that is guided into a large blood vessel that leads to the heart.
- Your care cream can prescribe a numbing cream for you to apply before you come for treatment.
- The nurse inserts a needle through the skin to access the port.
You will be able to have your blood drawn through the port. Medications can be given through the port. You can receive contrast dyes through the port for your imaging scans.
Your care team will give you a prescription for a numbing cream to place on the port to numb the skin before your care team accesses the port. Apply the cream 30 minutes to 1 hour before treatment or lab draw appointments.
Published June 2019
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