Which arm can I use for bloods/chemo?

Hello all, this is my first post so I hope I have chosen the relevant section. I was diagnosed in May with a grade 2 IDC and am still struggling to get my head round it all. I have been trawling this forum and have been inspired, comforted and informed. I can’t believe how ignorant of BC I was, I didn’t even realise there were different types of BC and as for all the other variables which affect treatment well what can I say?
I am due to have my fourth cycle of EC chemo, neo adjuvant with surgery planned for end of November. I understand that any bloods/chemo should only be done on the non-affected side however does anyone know if this is only the case post-op.
I only ask because I understand that chemo actually damages veins so if I could use my affected side occasionally pre-op this may be beneficial.
Opinions welcome, many thanks.

hi i too was ignorant to all types of bc it certainly opens your eyes… i think its only when you have had lymph node removal that you avoid the affected arm because of lymphodema, i am sure someone will correct me if i am wrong xx

Yep. If you still have your nodes, you can use either side.

Hi C-W I had neo-adjuvant chemo too. The chemo nurses would only use my non affected side despite surgery to follow. I went along with this. I am pleased that I did as by my 5-6th chemo my veins were becoming quite sore and I always had my pre chemo bloods done on that arm too. The phlebotomists were of the same opinion BTW last chemo May 2010 and still needing some blood tests in ‘good arm’ veins there getting steadily better.Feel that if this might help prevent Lymphoedema then that is good Jxx


I was the same. I had chemo in my ‘good arm’ for first 2, then it got sore so went into what would be ‘bad’ arm for next 3, 6th in ‘good’.

Ideally i would have had a PICC line or the equivalent, (but they don’t do them as standard at my Hosp)as my veins got quite a bit of cording and gradually made injections more and more difficult. Glad to say this has eased a lot now.

Many thanks for your helpful replies