A portacath is a medical port that doctors use to inject drugs to cancer patients. Depending on their doctors’ recommendation, patients can wear their portacath during radiotherapy sessions. Naturally, some patients worry that radiation might affect the functionality of their portacath or cause the device to harm their bodies.

Therefore, if you worry about the same issue, the simple answer is radiation cannot affect your portacath.

Can Radiation Affect Your Portacath?

Typically, radiologists perform radiation therapy on the side of the chest that does not have a portacath. If, for any reason, a radiologist needs to perform radiology on the side that you have your portacath, the radiologist would need to remove or move it first. However, it is important to note that radiation treatments weaken the immune system significantly. As such, patients should always sterilize their portacath in the weeks leading to and following their radiation treatments.

Tips

To ensure your portacath remains free of harmful germs before and after radiation treatments, you should do the following:

  1. Follow all the maintenance guidelines provided by your doctor thoroughly.
  2. Always wash your hands before touching the portacath insertion site to prevent the entry of germs into your blood.
  3. During and after your radiotherapy, keep the lumens of your portacath well capped to avoid infection.
  4. Ensure that you sterilize all the items you use to access the portacath while administering treatments such as syringes and needles.

Advice

It is important to note that the post radiation care of a portacath may vary from one individual to another depending on the following factors:

  • How often a patient needs chemotherapy treatments.
  • The nature of drugs, such as oral or intravenous, a patient needs after radiation.
  • Whether a patient experienced any side effects from radiation treatment or not.

Citations

Conclusion

All in all, it is highly unlikely that radiation will affect your portacath if your radiologist administers the treatments correctly. However, you should carefully monitor the insertion site of your portacath for two to four weeks after the completion of your radiation treatments. If you notice any redness, uncharacteristic soreness or swelling, contact you doctor as soon as possible.