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If you've recently been diagnosed with cancer or are about to begin treatment, heart health may be the last thing on your mind. However, cardio-oncologists (cardiologists who specialise in cancer care) frequently advise cautious monitoring of your heart before, during, and after cancer treatment at all periods when your heart may be in danger. In addition, heart-healthy guidelines are provided to avoid heart issues and lower the likelihood of developing heart problems following cancer therapy.
Dr Bipeenchandra Bhamre, Consultant Cardiac Surgeon at Sir H. N. Reliance Foundation Hospital and Research Centre in Mumbai, explains, "Certain cancer therapies can harm the heart and circulatory systems. Chemotherapy and radiation therapy, as well as newer kinds of cancer treatment such as targeted treatments and immunotherapies, can induce or worsen these adverse effects, which include high blood pressure, irregular cardiac rhythms, and heart failure."
"However, certain cardiac adverse effects lie unnoticed for years, if not decades, after a patient's medication has finished. Cancer patients are living longer lives than ever before, and many of these survivors are living long enough to acquire late cardiovascular consequences," he adds.
Talking to TheHealthSite, Dr Bhamre elaborates on the connection between cancer and heart health as well as highlights certain things that cancer patients should know to lower their likelihood of developing heart problems. Continue reading: -
Some cancer therapies can cause damage to the heart muscle and blood vessels, raising the chance of developing heart disease in the days, weeks, months, or years after cancer therapy. This is because many cancer treatments, such as some chemotherapies, chest radiation, immunotherapy, and targeted medicines, can be hazardous to the heart.
Not only can people develop cancer treatment-related cardiac dysfunction (CTRCD), which is the decreased ability of the left ventricle to effectively pump blood, which can lead to heart failure, but they can also develop hypertension, arrhythmia, inflammation of the pericardium (the sac-like surrounding the heart), or progressive coronary artery disease.
Doctors advise cancer patients to seek cardio-oncology therapy as soon as possible. They underline the significance of having a cardiovascular risk assessment performed by a doctor who specialises in delivering this level of care. It can establish whether more tests, such as cardiac imaging investigations or drugs, are required. There are significant complexities in caring for cancer patients that go above and beyond a normal cardiology approach.
Cardio-oncologists encourage cancer patients and their caretakers to know the following heart-healthy information.
Aside from infants, women and all people aged 60 and over are thought to be at a greater risk of cardiotoxic adverse effects. The following health issues are linked to the development or worsening of cardiovascular disease in general, and they may significantly enhance the risk of heart damage during cancer therapy:
Early detection of heart issues is critical. Cardio-oncologists can put procedures in place to keep certain heart problems from worsening. In rare situations, they can even aid in the healing of previous injuries.