Published: Fri, February 02, 2018
Health Care | By Alberto Manning

Breast cancer treatments may up heart failure risk

Breast cancer treatments may up heart failure risk

The likelihood of cancer survivors dying from CVD vs cancer recurrence is increasing due to the improved efficacy of breast cancer therapies, making effective management and prevention of CVD a priority for this patient population as they age.

The new statement noted that radiation and chemotherapies can pose a risk to cardiovascular health. According to the charity, this is because breast cancer is the subject of much more research and investment.

Q: What are the problems and which treatments can cause them?

Scientific research into the disease has also been lower historically, with just 72,513 papers on prostate cancer published since 1999, compared with more than 146,000 on breast cancer. After skin cancer, it's the most common cancer in women.

Herceptin and similar drugs for a specific type of breast cancer can cause heart failure. Yet when such a patient ends up in the hospital, he said, doctors tend to look for signs of a heart attack or pulmonary embolism, while overlooking breast cancer treatment as a possible culprit. "They should get the best treatment that's necessary for their breast cancer", she said, but patients should try to prevent or reduce those risks to their heart health by maintaining a healthy diet, exercising, and monitoring their blood pressure and cholesterol. But the same risk factors can lead to breast cancer. "But it's important for people to know that the heart needs to be taken care of before, during and after treatment".

The Cancer Surveillance and Outcomes Research Team at the University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center developed the iCanDecide tool, which serves as a tailored decision aid for breast cancer patients faced with surgery, chemotherapy, radiation and other treatment choices.

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Despite the alarming figures, the charity added the shift does not represent a worsening situation for prostate cancer and men diagnosed today are two-and-a-half times more likely to live for 10 years or more than if they were diagnosed in 1990. In one of the world's longest-running mammography studies, researchers in Canada found that among women aged 40 to 59 who were randomly assigned to regular mammograms, mortality after 5, 10, and 15 years was indistinguishable from women not getting regular mammograms. Both can weaken the heart muscle.

Rhee has witnessed more precise radiation therapy in the past 18 years, which may result in fewer cases of heart and valve disease in the future than was caused by heavier doses of radiation spread broadly across patients torsos and chests.

Neelima Denduluri, a medical oncologist in Arlington, Virginia, said that increasingly doctors are tailoring treatments to the individual and that doctors don't have to choose between life-saving cancer therapies and cardio health.

In general, the impact of both cardiovascular disease and breast cancer among women can be significant, and Mehta hopes the new statement raises this awareness, especially among older women. "We need earlier diagnosis and a better-informed testing regime".

The publication explores the shared risk factors for breast cancer and cardiovascular disease and the cardiotoxic effects of breast cancer treatments.

Science is still working on combating the negative effects cancer treatment can have on patients' hearts, but drugs that can reduce cellular damage are being slowly introduced to the medical market.

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