How To Make A Chemo Port Shirt?

How To Make A Chemo Port Shirt?

When a person undergoes chemotherapy, the insertion of a chemo port is a common procedure. This small device sits under the skin and provides a direct connection to a vein, making it easier to administer chemotherapy drugs. However, wearing comfortable clothing that allows easy access to the port can be a challenge. That's where a chemo port shirt comes in. These specially designed shirts have hidden openings that allow for easy access to the port, making treatment sessions more comfortable and convenient for patients.

A chemo port shirt is not just a piece of clothing, it's a practical solution that can greatly improve the quality of life for chemotherapy patients. The history of chemo port shirts dates back to the recognition of the need for specialized clothing during treatment. Today, these shirts are available in various styles and designs, catering to the diverse preferences and needs of patients. Studies have shown that wearing chemo port shirts can significantly reduce the anxiety and discomfort experienced by patients during treatment sessions. By providing easy access to the port, these shirts offer a simple yet effective solution that enhances patient comfort and promotes a sense of normalcy during a challenging time.

How To Make A Chemo Port Shirt?

Understanding the Importance of Chemo Port Shirts

When undergoing chemotherapy, patients often have a port implanted in their chest to make it easier to administer the necessary medications. However, this can cause discomfort and inconvenience during treatment sessions. To address this issue, chemo port shirts have been designed specifically to provide easy access to the port while ensuring comfort and style for the patients. These shirts have strategically placed openings or flaps that allow medical professionals to access the port without the need to remove the entire garment. In this article, we will explore how to make a chemo port shirt, step by step, to assist patients in maximizing their comfort and convenience during chemotherapy treatments.

Choosing the Right Fabric

The first step in making a chemo port shirt is to choose the right fabric. It's important to select a fabric that is soft, lightweight, and breathable, as chemotherapy treatments can cause discomfort, sensitivity, and hot flashes. Fabrics such as cotton, bamboo, or modal are excellent choices that provide comfort and allow the skin to breathe. Avoid selecting fabrics that may irritate the skin or cause allergies. Consider the season or climate in which the treatment sessions will take place and choose fabrics accordingly.

Additionally, it's essential to choose fabrics that are easy to clean and maintain. Patients undergoing chemotherapy may experience side effects such as nausea or sweating, so it's crucial to select fabrics that can withstand frequent washing without losing their softness or shape. Look for fabrics that are machine-washable and durable to ensure the longevity of the chemo port shirt.

Lastly, consider choosing fabrics in patterns or colors that bring joy and positivity. Cancer treatment can be emotionally challenging, and wearing a chemo port shirt that reflects the patient's style and personality can boost their mood and overall well-being.

Gathering the Necessary Supplies

Before starting the process of making a chemo port shirt, gather all the necessary supplies to ensure a smooth and efficient workflow. The supplies you'll need include:

  • Soft and breathable fabric
  • Measuring tape
  • Scissors
  • Sewing machine or thread and needle
  • Pins
  • Buttons or snaps (if desired for closures)
  • Iron and ironing board

Having these supplies ready before you start will help you save time and make the process more organized.

Measurements will vary depending on the individual and their comfort preferences, so it's important to take accurate measurements before cutting the fabric. Using a measuring tape, measure the chest circumference, shoulder width, sleeve length, and desired length of the chemo port shirt. Write down the measurements for reference during the sewing process.

Cutting and Sewing the Fabric

Once you have the fabric and measurements ready, it's time to cut and sew the chemo port shirt. Lay the fabric on a clean and flat surface, ensuring it is wrinkle-free. Use the measurements you took earlier to mark the fabric accordingly and cut it into the desired shape for the shirt.

If you have a pre-existing shirt or pattern that fits well, you can also use it as a template by laying it on top of the fabric and tracing around it with a fabric pen or chalk. Remember to leave extra fabric for seam allowances.

After cutting the fabric, it's time to sew the pieces together. Pin the fabric pieces together, right sides facing each other, to secure them in place. Using a sewing machine or a needle and thread, carefully stitch along the edges, leaving appropriate spaces for sleeves, neck, and hem. Once the pieces are sewn, remove the pins and try the chemo port shirt on to ensure it fits comfortably and allows easy movement.

Creating the Port Access Opening

To make the chemo port shirt functional, it's necessary to create an opening or flap that allows easy access to the port without having to remove the entire garment. Determine the location of the port on the chest and mark it on the fabric. Cut a small rectangular or oval-shaped opening using scissors, ensuring the size is appropriate for easy accessibility while maintaining the shirt's integrity.

Once the opening is cut, it's essential to reinforce the edges to prevent fraying. You can use a sewing machine or a zigzag stitch to secure the edges of the opening. Alternatively, you can sew bias tape or use fabric glue to create a clean and durable finish. This reinforcement will ensure the chemo port shirt lasts longer and maintains its shape.

If desired, you can also attach buttons or snaps to provide additional closure for the flap. This will help ensure the port remains covered and secure when not in use.

Consider making the opening slightly larger than necessary to accommodate any potential growth or changes in the port size during the course of treatment.

Adding Comfort and Style Elements

While functionality is crucial, it's also important to add elements of comfort and style to the chemo port shirt. Consider the following tips:

1. Protrusion-Free Seams: Ensure the inside seams are flat and smooth to prevent any discomfort or irritation on the skin. Use a serger or a zigzag stitch to finish the seams and tuck in any loose threads.

2. Soft Neckline: Opt for a soft and stretchable neckline to avoid any tightness or restriction around the neck area. A scoop neck or a v-neck design can be comfortable options.

3. Breathable Armpits: To prevent sweat build-up and discomfort, ensure the armpits have adequate ventilation. Consider adding mesh or breathable fabric panels under the arms or use fabrics that naturally wick away moisture.

4. Easy Closure Mechanism: If buttons or snaps are used for the port access, ensure they are easy to open and close. Opt for larger buttons or magnetic snaps that can be easily manipulated by patients undergoing treatment.

5. Pockets or Storage Options: Adding pockets or small compartments to the chemo port shirt can provide convenience for patients to carry small essentials such as tissues, lip balm, or a small notebook during treatment sessions.

Customization and Personalization Options

While making a chemo port shirt, patients can also explore customization and personalization options to make it more suited to their preferences. Consider the following ideas:

1. Graphics or Prints: Add uplifting and motivational graphics, prints, or quotes to the chemo port shirt. This can serve as a constant reminder of strength, hope, and resilience during the treatment journey.

2. Embroidery or Appliqué: Personalize the chemo port shirt by adding embroidery or appliqué of the patient's initials, name, or a symbol that holds significant meaning to them.

3. Decorative Trims: Consider adding decorative trims or embellishments to the neckline, sleeves, or hem to elevate the style of the chemo port shirt. Choose trims that are soft and non-irritating to the skin.

4. Accessory Loops: Sew loops or tabs onto the chemo port shirt to hold small accessories such as sunglasses or earphones, ensuring convenience and preventing loss during treatment sessions.

Exploring Alternative Chemo Port Shirt Options

In addition to making your own chemo port shirt, there are various alternative options available for patients seeking comfort and convenience during chemotherapy treatments:

1. Ready-Made Chemo Port Shirts: Many clothing manufacturers and retailers offer ready-made chemo port shirts designed specifically for easy port access. These shirts are available in various sizes, styles, and fabric options to suit individual preferences.

2. Adaptive Clothing: Adaptive clothing brands cater to individuals with specific medical needs, including those undergoing chemotherapy. These brands offer a wide range of garments with innovative features such as magnetic closures, easy-open zippers, and hidden access points.

3. DIY Modifications: If making a chemo port shirt from scratch seems daunting, patients can opt to modify existing clothing items to create port-accessible openings. This can be done by sewing in zippers, snaps, or simply creating a flap with Velcro closures on existing shirts or blouses.

4. Medical Garment Suppliers: Some suppliers specialize in medical garments, including chemo port shirts. These garments are designed with comfort, functionality, and accessibility in mind to ensure a smoother treatment process.

Patients are encouraged to explore these alternatives if they prefer a ready-made solution or if making their own chemo port shirt is not feasible.


When undergoing chemotherapy, it's important to prioritize the comfort and convenience of the patient. Making a chemo port shirt allows patients to have a garment that meets their specific needs while also reflecting their personal style and preferences. By using soft and breathable fabric, taking accurate measurements, and creating an accessible port opening, patients can enhance their experience during treatment sessions. Additionally, exploring comfort and style elements and considering customization options can further improve the overall well-being and confidence of patients. Remember to check ready-made options and alternative modifications if making a chemo port shirt from scratch proves challenging. Ultimately, the goal is to provide patients with a garment that not only makes accessing the port easier but also allows them to feel comfortable, empowered, and supported throughout their chemotherapy journey.

How To Make A Chemo Port Shirt?

Making a Chemo Port Shirt

Chemo port shirts are specially designed clothing items for patients with a port-a-cath, a device used for chemotherapy treatments. These shirts have discreet openings that allow easy access to the port without having to remove the entire shirt. Here's a step-by-step guide on how to make a chemo port shirt:

  • Gather materials: You will need a regular shirt, fabric scissors, and a sewing machine or needle and thread.
  • Prepare the shirt: Lay the shirt flat and decide where the port opening should be. Mark the area with a fabric marker.
  • Cut the opening: Using the fabric scissors, carefully cut out the marked area. Make sure the opening is large enough to accommodate the port.
  • Finish the edges: To prevent fraying, fold the edges of the opening and sew them using a sewing machine or by hand.
  • Test the shirt: Put the shirt on and ensure that the port opening is in the right place and size. Make any necessary adjustments.
  • Personalize your shirt: Now that you have the chemo port opening, you can decorate the shirt as you wish using fabric paint or patches.
  • Wash and wear: After completing the shirt, wash it according to the care instructions and wear it during chemotherapy treatments.

Key Takeaways: How To Make A Chemo Port Shirt?

  • A chemo port shirt is designed to provide convenient access to a patient's chest port during chemotherapy treatments.
  • You can make a chemo port shirt by modifying a regular shirt to include a discreetly placed opening or using a specialized pattern.
  • Choose a soft and comfortable fabric that won't irritate the skin or put pressure on the port.
  • Make sure the opening is located near the port area and securely closed with snaps or Velcro for easy access during treatments.
  • Consider adding additional features, such as pockets or adjustable straps, for added convenience and comfort.

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some commonly asked questions about making a chemo port shirt:

1. What materials do I need to make a chemo port shirt?

To make a chemo port shirt, you will need the following materials:

• A plain, comfortable shirt made of soft fabric like cotton or jersey.

• Scissors

• Fabric glue or sewing machine

• Tape measure

2. How do I measure for the placement of the chemo port opening on the shirt?

To measure for the placement of the chemo port opening on the shirt, follow these steps:

1. Put on the shirt and find the location of your chemo port.

2. Use a tape measure to measure the distance from the center of your chemo port to the neckline of the shirt.

3. Mark this measurement on the shirt with a fabric marker or pin.

4. Measure the width and height of your chemo port opening and mark those measurements on the shirt as well.

3. Should I sew or glue the chemo port opening on the shirt?

Whether you choose to sew or glue the chemo port opening on the shirt depends on your personal preference and sewing skills. Here are some considerations:

• Sewing: If you have a sewing machine or are comfortable hand-sewing, you can sew the chemo port opening for added durability.

• Gluing: If you do not have sewing skills or prefer a quick and easy option, fabric glue can be used to attach the chemo port opening to the shirt.

Regardless of the method you choose, make sure to follow the instructions on the glue or sewing machine for best results.

4. Can I use any shirt to make a chemo port shirt?

While you can technically use any shirt to make a chemo port shirt, it is recommended to use a plain, comfortable shirt made of soft fabric like cotton or jersey. These fabrics are gentle on the skin and breathable, making them more comfortable to wear during chemotherapy treatment.

5. Can I customize the design of the chemo port shirt?

Yes, you can customize the design of the chemo port shirt according to your preferences. You can add embellishments, such as ribbons, patches, or fabric paint, to make it more personalized and uplifting. Just make sure to avoid placing any embellishments directly on the chemo port opening for easy access during treatment.

Creating a chemo port shirt can provide comfort and convenience for those undergoing chemotherapy. By following a few simple steps, you can make a shirt that has easy access to the chemo port, allowing for seamless treatment sessions.

Start by choosing a soft and breathable fabric, then measure and cut a hole on the shirt where the port will be located. Sew the edges neatly and reinforce them to prevent fraying. Finally, add Velcro or snaps to secure the opening and ensure easy accessibility during treatment. With a homemade chemo port shirt, patients can have a more comfortable experience during their chemotherapy sessions.