Ask a Nurse
posted by AnnMaria
21 May 2023


Last reply: 28 May 2023 19:20

I’m recently diagnosed with Er/Pr + breast cancer. I’m 6 weeks post op breast conservation surgery. I start chemo next week. I was shocked that I would need a PICc Line. This will be inserted the morning of my first chemo. Is this usual. I will have to cope with the sore arm & stress of first chemo experience. (other arm still not back to full use after node clearance surgery). Can you advise please as I’m struggling with all of this new information. Thank you



commented by Jenni53
22 May 2023

22 May 2023 11:55

Hi AnnMaria

Sorry to hear that you have been diagnosed with breast cancer. It's not unusual to need a PICC line for receiving chemo, it's usually inserted if there's a problem getting access to a vein. When I was having treatment for breast cancer over two years ago I had a PICC Line inserted as my vein are very small and hard to get. I can honestly say it was the best thing I did as not only did I get my chemo infusions through it, my bloods were done through the PICC Line as well. I didn't have any problems with it. The only downside to it was that I had to cover it when showering in the mornings.

Wishing you the best of luck with your treatment.

Best wishes

commented by AnnMaria
22 May 2023

22 May 2023 13:47

Thanks Jenni53, much appreciated.

commented by rachhh
28 May 2023

28 May 2023 19:20

My Mam sadly passed away from cancer, after five rounds of treatment and massive surgery in between it all 💔
My mam was tormented with the needles and wondered why she was never offered a PIC line to begin with. Her only regret was not asking the consultant for a picc line but when she was diagnosed and started treatment we didn’t even know what a picc line was, we new nothing about cancer.
The needles destroyed her veins and they could never get blood from her veins, for a pet scan they had to go into her foot to get a vein and she has never experienced pain like it, she was traumatised and terrified of the needles because of the hell she went through, she wouldn’t even sleep at night she was that worried about the needles.
When she went for CAR T cell they put picc line in and the relief she got from it, the picc line gave her so much comfort and she had no pain when they needed to take blood. My opinion you are better to get the picc line from the start so you don’t ruin your veins and you don’t go through unnecessary pain. What’s the point in destroying your veins, going through pain and at the end for them to put a picc line in 💔.
I know with a picc line you need to be very careful as you could easily get an infection but that’s nothing compare to what my mam went through with the needles. You also have to make sure you don’t get it wet. I wish you all the best with your treatment 🙏

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