Are there portable chemo methods?

3 answers | Last updated: Nov 07, 2014
Bob in pennsylvania asked...

Are there certain types of chemo that are delivered by the patient carrying/using a "bag"?

Expert Answers

Bonnie Bajorek Daneker is author and creator of the The Compassionate Caregiver's Series, which includes "The Compassionate Caregiver's Guide to Caring for Someone with Cancer," "The Journey of Grief," "Handbook on Hospice and Palliative Care," and other titles on cancer diagnosis and end of life. She speaks regularly at cancer research and support functions, including PANCAN and Cancer Survivor's Network. She is a former member of the Executive Committee of the CSN at St. Joseph's Hospital of Atlanta and the Georgia Chapter of the Lymphoma Research Foundation.

Yes, the idea of portable chemo that is dispersed over multiple hours is becoming more widely used.This has been shown to be more effective and with less toxicity in clinical trials because it is more slowly introduced into the system. Instead of chemo administered in infusion rooms over 1-2 hours, this therapy can last up to 96 hours. Keep in mind, however, moving and sleeping with the bag can take some getting used to.

This therapy is administered intravenously (in the veins) and it is most often used with gastrointestinal cancers. Researchers are working to identify which methods of administration will be most effective for each individual. We will continue to see a variety of therapy administration based on cancer type and each patient’s medical condition.

Community Answers

Enjoyinglife answered...
yes, I completed a 96 hour drip of 5 FU in a fanny pack style bag. I started on a tuesday and took it with me to Walmart, pick my kids up from school and even to my radiation appointments. When my time was up home health came to my house and unhooked it and that was the end of that. I start my last dose a week from now. I will get hooked up at my oncologists office, go nextdoor to my radiation doctor and then have my mom drive me the hour home. THursday after my radiation appointment the company that is doing it will meet me at the doc's office and remove it. Now to do this I had to have a port put into my upper chest in my artery. Simple procedure done at the hospital. A weeks recovery and I was good to go. I am a 41 year old female with squamous cell carcinoma and a rectal mass.

Saycheez69 answered...

Yes the porta cad is nice. I took my mom last week to the dr's office to have one put into her arm and it only took 15 mins. The only thing is that she can't get it wet due to the fact that it will get infected. You really have to take care of the site where they implanted (?) it. She has rectal cancer and she goes to the oncologist office every 2 weeks for the chemo infusion for 3 hours and b/f she leaves they administer the chemo through her porta cad for 48hrs. I take her back to have it taken off, I flush it with saline solution and heprin the week b/f she is due to go back for the next session of chemo so that she won't develop blood clots. So far so good.