PICC Line vs POrt in Chest

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PICC Line vs POrt in Chest

Postby Guest » Wed Jun 13, 2007 5:39 pm

Dear Everybody here at The Colon Club,

Which did you do or prefer for chemotherapy?

Thank you & Take care,

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PICC Line vs POrt in Chest

Postby Ellen » Wed Jun 13, 2007 6:03 pm


I debated for a while and ended up getting a port. I'm glad I did--since I'm stage IV, I'm on long term chemo and the port doesn't need any special care on my end (showering with a picc is a bit of a hassle, I think.) It is not noticeable and doesn't bother me at all. Also, I have an 8 month old baby who would be playing with the picc line.

that said, when the surgeon put in my port, she knicked my lung and I ended up in the hospital for an entire week with a collapsed lung. NO FUN! Supposedly this is uncommon (tho' slightly more common for people of very thin build, which I am.)

Hope that's helpful.

Stage IV CC
Colon resect, chemo, unsuccessful liver resection 2/07-11/07
Bile leak/progression 12/07-4/08
Folfiri/Erbitux, Folfiri/Avastin 5/08-6/09
Olaparib 7/09-9/09
Folfox 10/09-1/10
MitomycinC/Xeloda 1/10-
43 Y.O: 2 children: 3 and 5.5 years.

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Postby seussfan » Wed Jun 13, 2007 6:12 pm

I chose to go with the port. It has been a god send. It is outpatient surgery and I had no problem. They can take my blood draws as well as give me chemo. It is easily hidden under my shirt...the picc line would be in your arm and visible. With the port I have no shower problems - we have a pool and swimming is great exercise! :D
Stage 3 Colon Cancer-6 of 15 lymph nodes positive/Surgery & Dx 3-5-07/Finished Folfox4 11-28-07
Stage 0/Grade 3 Breast Cancer/Double mastectomy 5-15-09/Undergoing reconstruction
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Postby sean » Wed Jun 13, 2007 6:40 pm

I have a groshon catheter that comes out of my chest. Great for chemo and blood draws since it is just a quick disconnect. It requires a saline flush & dressing & cap change once a week. It is an external device, but folds up nicely out of the way & I usually forget it is there. Downside is that on a hot day you may need to make a dressing change.
42 - dx Jan 3 2007 stage IIA colon
9 FOLFOX4, 3 5-FU completed Sep 24 2007
Blockage symptoms, Negative Colonoscopy, Positive PET Oct 2009
2nd Resection Oct 2009 - Suspected Local Recurrence was Negative

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Postby northern lights » Wed Jun 13, 2007 10:26 pm

I had a PICC line initally and I hated it. It got infected twice which delayed my chemo, it was hard to shower with, it was visable to everyone, it needed to be flushed on non-chemo days...I don't have anything good to say about it.

The port was hassel-free.
Diagnosed Stage III Jan 06. Completed Treatment Oct 06. NED Dec 06,

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Postby Rui » Thu Jun 14, 2007 4:48 am

I also chose to have the port, I can do my daily living without even think that I have it on my chest.

As Ellen, I also had a problem with the port implant and my lung ( because I lost alot of weight and i'm thin ), but it only collapsed 5% so I was only in the hospital for 24h.

So I would go for the port.

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Postby Joy » Thu Jun 14, 2007 7:50 am

I had a Picc line. No problem with infection because I had an "excellent" home care nurse come in and do the flush maintenance. The Picc line to put is mildly was a "pain in the butt" ...showering was a challenge, and having the darned lines hanging out of my arm was a constant reminder to everyone that I was a "cancer victim"... spent the whole summer wearing long sleeves.

If I had been more "educated" on the subject I would have insisted on a port.


Ports & PICCs

Postby Guest » Thu Jun 14, 2007 8:16 am

I refused to have either since it would limit my activities & my veins fortunately have held up over several years of chemo. I always felt that ports and PICCs were more for the convenience and ease of the chemo nurses than the patient. I did have a PICC line for a week while I was in the hospital for a trial and it got clogged even with the nurses flushing it.

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Postby missjv » Thu Jun 14, 2007 9:04 am

i opted for the port. it is easy, mine can't be seen under my skin so i can wear off the shoulder and low cut shirts and you can't tell it is there. i have crappy veins and i figured everytime i went for chemo i was not going to be stuck over and over again to try to get a vein. i have had my port for 1 year and i am keeping it in even though im done with chemo for at least another year in case i need more chemo.


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Port over PICC and PICC over PORT

Postby Anthony R » Thu May 15, 2008 10:00 am

I have not commenced chemotherapy just yet. I understand my tumour is growing but I am undecided on whether to opt for the Port or the PICC. If the PICC I commence chemotherapy next Friday, and if the Port, who knows when as an appointment would be required to install it.

Given the increasing pain I am focused on making a decision but clearly deciding which is best leaves me with a query of pros and cons for both.

I am attending a clinic tomorrow for a better explanation... what is everyone's opinion or is it an individual thing?

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Postby Carol54 » Thu May 15, 2008 10:38 am

I also have the port, and can't imagine having to deal with the picc line with everything I have going on. As far as an appointment, guess it depends on your doctor. My oncologist got my surgeon on the phone, had a consult with him the next day and set surgery for 3 days later. I was told they could actually use it the day it is put in.
If you get the port ask for a script for the "numbing cream," emla cream.
You put the cream on about and hour before chemo and you don't feel a thing. One time I forgot to use it and remembered (depending on the nurse I think)...it hurt, not unbearable, but if I can go without pain, I'm all for it.
My port is not at all visable (just the scar when they put it in). I was there just yesterday and the nurse even called another nurse over to show her that you couldn't even see it. She said it's a good thing you have the scar, to give us a hint of where it is.
Only problem I've had twice is when the test it in the beginning before the chemo, they didn't get blood drawn back out. So, I raised my arms, walked around, then it worked.
Good Luck with your choice.....oh, my surgeon had told me he'd done 2,000 ports, punctured 3 lungs.....2 of them were the same guy. I said, I bet that guy thinks you're a quack....he said, yeah, but I think his lung was in the wrong place....we laughed.
Carol - 54
Diagnosed 11/07 Sigmoid Resection
Stage III Colon/Rectal Cancer
4 out of 15 lymph nodes positive
25 Radiation Treatments along with Xelota 1/2008
Oxi, 5FU body could only take 8 tx of Oxi and 10 tx 5FU

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Postby samson » Thu May 15, 2008 10:51 am

I have the port. I would not have the picc line because my brother was a cystic fibrosis patient and he got the virus mrsa from his picc and it was the last thing his frail body needed and he died in just a few days of the infection. I don't think this is common but I can't get passed watching his body shut down in front of my eyes. He died may 17 2007 and we miss him.

I'm sorry I don't mean to scare anyone away from the picc it's just my experience.
jeff collins 43
diagnosed 1-18-2008 stage IIB colon cancer lower anterior resection feb. 5 2008

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Postby Lee » Thu May 15, 2008 11:04 am

I had the port, ans would recommend it. This was 4 yrs ago, and I was hooked up to a pump for 2 1/2 days, every other week. The port allowed me to have a mostly normal life when on chemo, and no one noticed my port when not on chemo.

I had a PICC line while in the hospital, and hated it.

rectal cancer - April 2004
46 yrs old at diagnoses
stage III C - 6/13 lymph positive
radiation - 6 weeks
surgery - August 2004/hernia repair 2014
permanent colostomy
chemo - FOLFOX
NED - 10 years and counting!

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Postby janeandrea » Thu May 15, 2008 1:31 pm

I have a port as well - was never even given the option for a PICC line, but I think I would have opted for the port as well. I had continuous infusion chemo for 5 weeks (as most rectal ca patients do, I guess). When I was in the hospital, they used the port for my saline, drugs, and to take blood draws. Much better than an IV in the hand.

I will need it when I start FOLFOX every 2 weeks as well.

I don't really notice it too much anymore, though as I am very thin, it does stick out quite a lot, especially since I have lost an additional 20 lbs since being diagnosed. You can even now see the little screws. :) But it doesn't really bother me...I am just used to it I guess. Most of my clothes cover it, and those few shirts that don't, I just wear a tshirt under it if I care if it is seen.

I would say go for the port. It hurts for a few days after being implanted (raising my arm hurt quite a bit for awhile), but that goes away.

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Postby CBR600319 » Thu May 15, 2008 2:30 pm

My wife has a port and she thinks it's great. If you're going to be on chemo long term then I'd guess it's a better option. She did get a little sick from the anesthesia the day she got it put in, but she says it was more than worth it now.

With the Picc line you've got to go in to get it flushed even on your weeks off. We spend enough time at the hospital during treatment, don't need to go in every single week.

Hope that helps..
Wife dx April/07 at age 28
R/T hemi-col. April/07
Stage IV, liver mets, T3,N2,M1
Folfox, 18 treaments
lymphadenectomy surgery, rt hemi col, liver biopsy Jul/08
Liver resection Sept 9th/08
Back on adjuvent Folfox Oct '08, 23 rounds total
Done chemo Feb 09

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