24 answers

Chemo Port Pain

I had a port inserted about 5 weeks ago before beginning a series of chemotherapy treatments. It's working just fine, but for the last week I've had intense, off-the-chart pain around my collar bone and up the left side of my neck. An x-ray determined that there is no blood clot or blockage, but we can't figure out what's causing the pain. I even had a massage, which didn't help either. I'm taking narcotic pain meds throughout the day to combat this. Can anyone relate? Any ideas?

1 mom found this helpful

What can I do next?

Featured Answers

What kind of chemo did you have? Vincristine, for example, can cause severe tissue damage if it leaks at all.

More Answers

Dear A.,

I was diagnosed with breast cancer last fall and with ovarian cancer three years ago, both of which I have miraculously overcome. Last winter after my breast cancer diagnosis I had a double mastectomy, (followed by reconstructive surgery) and was in a tramendous amount of pain from that. I am not sure what the source of your pain is, but after reading your story, I just had to respond. I admire your strength in fighting this disease, especially with being a mother and staying strong for your children. Please do not hesitate to let me know if there is anything I can do for you to help make things easier. I want to return what was given to me during my difficult moments. So many people reached out to me, and cooked meals for my family. It is a gift I don't know how I could ever repay. My phone number is ###-###-####. I would be more than happy to send meals over to you (I love to cook.) I know how it is when you are not feeling well to try and keep things "normal" for your children! Please let me help okay? As a breast cancer survivor myself, I feel like I have a special connection to other women who are going through the same thing, especially those who are moms.

Best wishes to you,


1 mom found this helpful

Hi A.. You are in my thoughts and prayers. I am a registered nurse and I work with people who have been diagnosed with cancer. You should NOT be having pain from your port. It sounds like it may be neurologic to me, too. I would definitely advise you to call your oncologist and the surgeon who inserted the port. You need a CT or MRI to see what is going on. You should not need narcotics for port pain. If the pain is constant and only relieved with narcotics, that is a red flag. If the pain is intermittent and only after a chemo infusion, that is another sign. Please call your physician.
If there is anything I can do to help you, please let me know. I work as a Oncology Case Manager. I wish you the best of luck. The best advice I can give you is to accept the help and support of family, friends and strangers. You do not have to go through this alone. Take good care, Julie.

1 mom found this helpful

I am sorry for all of your pain. I do not have any answers or experience with this, but I wanted to write just to say I am thinking about you and I hope you find an answer that helps. This site has been more than helpful for me. These moms are the best!
If you ever just need to talk or need help with anything, please feel free to email me.

1 mom found this helpful

Wow! You have so much on your plate! Sorry - I don't know about what could cause the pain and I'm glad you are making sure the dr. is aware of this. I hope next year this is all behind you and... from one mom to another, you're in my prayers!

1 mom found this helpful

A., I'm so sorry that you are in pain right now and are even in this situation. Do you have a support group around you? I don't where you live, but I live in Barrington and can help out running errands or if you need meals right now. PLEASE let me know, my cell is ###-###-#### or just email back. My mom has been to Mayo 3 times in the past 3 months. I know how wonderfully helpful it's been to all of us to have the community support. Many prayers. Please call. -G.

1 mom found this helpful


I have followed up with some of my contacts. Their comments follow:

1. Consider following up to make sure the port manufacturer has not had any other incidents with other patients

2. I have known several people who had the end of the catheter move within the vein where it was inserted. The line actually"flipped" so the end was pointing up instead of down into the vein. Depending upon where the portacath was placed - juglar vein, subclavian or superior vena cava - this woman may have a fully functioning port, but the end of the catheter could have moved from the inferior part of the superior vena cava for instance and that could cause pain.

3. Catheters have also rarely caused arterial injuries when inserted, but it has happened. In very few cases, the lung is punctured during insertion, causing a pneumothorax. All of these problems are so rare and I would think this woman would have had symptoms during the first 4 weeks, rather than pain beginning in week 5.

I hope this helps.

1 mom found this helpful

Dear A.,
Our prayers are with you. I can not give any advice on the pain you are experiencing. I do have numerouse friends and loved ones who have survived many forms of cancer. One of the things that helped them thru this is concentrating on nutritional intake. One needs to help the healthy cells stay strong to continue the fight all those chemicals being forced to destroy the toxic cells. Because you are so young and have a very young family, mom needs to get better. Please look over the link below. Whole food nutrition, fruits and vegetables in the form of a capsule. There is no disease good nutrition can't help, and no disease that will get better without it. Listen to the doctors via the website. You will be glad you did. Best of luck to you and your family. Keep fighting!!
N. - Nutrition Naturally

1 mom found this helpful

I'm sorry I don't have an answer for this, but I just felt I needed to say hang in there. You and your family will be in my prayers.

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