Has anyone else got Plebitis in their arm?

Hi Everyone

I have Phlebitis in my left arm. On 29th January 2010 for my first Chemo, the line was put in and a week later I had Phlebitis. I phoned the Chemo line and explained my symptons but they said they didn’t know what it was so I went to the GP. It is now 10th March and yesterday I went to the GP again about it as I had a lump on my arm where the vein is.

My GP was (haven’t seen him before) fantastic and explained that his sister in law has breast cancer and knows how I feel and if I have any worries to come and see him at any time. He held my hands to say goodbye and walked me out of his room down to the corridor.

Anyway, he has prescribed Pencillin for me as I have an infection. I now have three lumps in my vein and if they don’t go down by the morning, I’ll go back to the doctor’s again in case it is a blood clot.

I’m off work for another three weeks because of this and my low resistance to infections.



Just responding to your query. I had my first FEC and was fine. Then two weeks ago I had my second and within a couple of days my arm flared up with a hardening of the vein and a lumpy feeling which was red and really sore to touch. I rang the unit and they asked me to go in. The nurse confirmed it was a touch of vein sclerosis and phlebitis. She gave me hydrocortisone cream which to be honest did nothing.

After that it didn’t improve so I rang docs and he said the same but gave me anti-biotics which did nothing. He mentioned that it can take a long time to recover. I saw the onc yesterday and she pretty much said the same. I’m due to have my third FEC next Wednesday and have been told they will be putting the needle lower down in my hand but I’m worried that it will be worse if it starts hardening because of where it is.

I asked about clots but the hospital and doc said a clot was an entirely different thing but I certainly don’t blame you for giving them a ring because its always better to be safe than sorry.

Hope thats helped.

Good luck

Krissy x

Hi Krizzy

thanks for your response . I have a portocath fitted so no more using my veins in my arm or hand. Once was enough. I am surprised that you haven’t been offered a port. Could you ask about one?

I’m going to the gp tomorrow as the lumps on my arm are still red and painful.


I think I might ask about the portocath. To be honest other women with the same problem have mentioned it. I’m surprised the hospital haven’t mentioned anything. I don’t much fancy having it in my hand where there is even less flesh.

How does the portocath work? Where is it put?

Good luck with the arm.

Krissy xx

hi there, just to add, i finished chemo in oct and i too suffered with vain sclerosis and phlebitis. I had the lumps in the vain too.I wasnt offered any treatment and just had to have the chemo in a different part of my hand every time. If you are lucky enough to get a port that should help solve the ptoblem. My vains in my arms are still hard and having needles put in for bloods, scans etc is an absolute nightmare. I just wanted to add its normal and my arm is only just easing as the hard vains wont let me straighten my arm out fully but i have found its easing. Good luck with your treatment girls luv pauline xxx

Hi Krissy

The portocath is a small (about the diameter of a £1 coin) and is made out of titanium. Itbia about 2.5cm deep. It is put under the skin of your chest in a little pocket and then sew up. A cathetar is connected to the port and them put into a vein near your neck.

It was uncomfortable for about a week. Now the nurses use it for drawing bloods, my chemo and herceptin when I have it. I don’t feel anything when the drugs go in and get no after affects from using the port. Infact the port is brilliant and I just wish I’d had it put in before my first chemo.

Hi Pauline

thanks for your details regarding your arm. I saw the gp agai
today and there is nothing that he can do for me other ensure I continue on the penicillin and cream that I have been prescribed. He has actually said that it is thrombophlebitis. Blood clots in the imflamed

Best wishes to you both.

Hi Pauline - Thanks for that info. God I can’t believe your still finding it quite difficult after finishing in October. Just shows you what it does to you! At least its made me feel better that it can take a while to improve.

Mnc - Glad you got to the docs. I’m surpised its blood clots. Did he say how long it would take to improve?

Take care to you both

Love Krissy xx

I finished chemo last month and was told I had phlebitis, the suggestions I was given by the chemo nurse was to massage the arm with E45 cream regularly and put a hot water bottle on it, and things are starting to improve, also exercising the arm helps, hope this information helps, as the pain from the arm was very bad and I had to do something, this did do the trick, its still sore but as I said its improving.

Me too!! I finished my FEC in Feb, and stil have phlebitis. Showed it to my gp today. Was told by chemo team to make sure i keep using the arm, been doing some exercise with it. hot water bottle/wheat pad, and massage with e45.

My gp said today, it can take months for it to go.

Thanks for that info. Very useful.

Have a nice weekend

Krissy x