is a commonly used type of treatment designed to identify, fight and destroy cancer cells. The advantage to this type of treatment is that it has the ability to find and
destroy cancer cells which might otherwise be unable to be treated with other methods. It can also be useful as a way to eliminate or help to control the growth of
cancer in more advanced stages. The drugs used are normally
administered by external means either orally or intravenously. We
will discuss a device called a chemotherapy port which administers the drugs automatically in a prescribed
manner designed to maximize the benefits which minimizing the side effects.
chemotherapy port is a tiny device which administers anti-cancer drugs directly into the
bloodstream. It avoids the pain and possible complications of
having to insert needles or intravenous lines into the patient multiple times.
There are two
main types of chemotherapy ports. The central venous port is used
for most types of cancer and the intraperitoneal port is used to treat ovarian and gastrointestinal
cancers. The chemotherapy port is normally installed surgically
below the surface of the skin near the collarbone or abdomen. It
pumps the drugs through a catheter which is directly connected to a vein for distribution throughout the
chemotherapy procedure can then be started. The dosage and
frequency of drug administration will depend on many factors.
However it is designed to enable multiple dosages of anti-drugs to be administered over a prescribed schedule
without the patient having to return for multiple visits for therapy.
some common side effects which tend to occur with any kind of chemotherapy treatment. Since the drugs used can also affect some healthy cells, typical side effects
can include the hair falling out, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, fatigue and pain. However once the therapy is concluded these side effects usually go
Once the sessions have concluded, the chemotherapy port is removed.
The patient is usually given a local anesthetic and then surgically removes the device. Along with the benefits this form of drug administration can provide, there can
be some complications such as:
A risk of infection at the incision
site. This is often caused by a weakened immune
system. The skin may also suffer some damage due to the
incision. There may be some fever along with pain and
swelling at the incision site.
The chemotherapy port may become
dislodged or moved if the patient does strenuous exercise which it is in place. It may cause damage to the device which could then require
There may be blood clots which form
at the area where the catheter enters the vein. It may
cause blockage and prevent proper flow of the drugs into the body.
Most of these
complications are fairly minor and mild. And the benefits gained
through a controlled dosage plan can more than offset the possible complications. Given its success in helping to maximize the effectiveness of the chemotherapy
treatment used, its benefits should far outweigh the disadvantages.