NCI Dictionary of Cancer Terms

  • Resize font
  • Print
  • Email
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Google+
  • Pinterest

The NCI Dictionary of Cancer Terms features 7,804 terms related to cancer and medicine.

Browse the dictionary by selecting a letter of the alphabet or by entering a cancer-related word or phrase in the search box.

port
(port)
An implanted device through which blood may be withdrawn and drugs may be infused without repeated needle sticks. Also called port-a-cath.

EnlargePort-a-cath (Port); drawing showing a port-a-cath under the skin in the right side of the chest. It is attached to a catheter that is threaded into a large vein above the right side of the heart called the superior vena cava. The top left inset shows the port-a-cath under the skin. The bottom right inset shows a needle being inserted into the port-a-cath and blood being drawn from it.

Port-a-cath (Port). A port-a-cath is a device placed under the skin in the right side of the chest. It is attached to a catheter (a thin, flexible tube) that is threaded into a large vein above the right side of the heart called the superior vena cava. A port-a-cath is used to give intravenous fluids, blood transfusions, chemotherapy, and other drugs. It is also used for taking blood samples. A port-a-cath may stay in place for weeks or months and helps avoid the need for repeated needle sticks.