Study highlights the intersection of Heart Disease and Breast Cancer

Cardiovascular Disease and Breast Cancer: Where These Entities Intersect?


A new scientific statement is out by the American Heart Association that highlights the monotonies amid cardiovascular ailment and breast cancer among women. In addition, it urges more scrutiny on research as well the distinctive treatments where these ailments imbricate.

The cardiovascular ailment is the significant reason for the demise of women in the U.S. and globally. Notwithstanding, umpteen women ponder a breast cancer as the major predicament. The two ailments can intertwine in numerous ways.

Dr. Laxmi Mehta, a cardiologist at The Ohio State University Ross Heart Hospital, stated, “Heart disease and breast cancer share common risk factors such as age, sedentary lifestyle and smoking.”

“More importantly, we see that many of the same things that improve heart health (healthy diet, healthy weight, exercise, not smoking) can also reduce a woman’s risk for breast cancer.”

Post that Mehta said the utilization of hormone replacement therapy is one more recurrent peril for women. An ongoing examination has shown, it can uplift the peril of breast cancer and heart ailments among particular groups of women, consequently, this deteriorating factor can be modified.

A couple of factors that can not be altered are age and genetics.

Increasing women age pace up the contingency of breast cancer. Likewise, the incidence of cardiovascular risk raises with age even more so with the onset of menopause.

The most common heart-related aftermath of cancer therapy is left ventricular dysfunction. Coronary artery disease, valve disease, arrhythmias and heart failure can occur besides.

Mehta and her co-authors said it’s vital for cardiologists and oncologists to work together in caring for cancer patients. A person’s heart health should be considered when first making treatment selections and while monitoring treatment progression. In some cases, pre-existing heart conditions may guide the course of cancer care, or the cancer therapy itself can impact the heart and alter treatment plans.

Mehta added, “These potential side effects impact each patient differently. Let me be clear, we are not suggesting that breast cancer patients should worry about or refuse their recommended breast cancer treatment. Modern treatment is essential for fighting breast cancer and improving survival. The potential cardiovascular effects are an important part of the conversation that patients should have with their oncologist.”

The interconnection does not conclude when the cancer is gone. Mehta said long-term breast cancer survivors can develop heart problems after certain cancer treatments, including chemotherapy, radiation, and targeted therapy. Survivors also have increased cardiovascular risk factors, and the statement points out that heart disease prevention and modification of cardiac risk factors is essential during and after breast cancer therapies.

Over the last decade, the collaborative field of cardio-oncology has grown to provide the best cancer care without impacting heart health. The multi-disciplinary approach has led to novel clinical techniques to reduce the heart-related effects of cancer treatment. Mehta and her co-authors called for more emphasis on prevention afore a particular treatment damages the heart.

Mehta stated, “Fortunately, with the ongoing advances in cancer treatment we are seeing an improved survival of cancer patients. However heart disease prior to, during or after cancer treatment can impact outcomes.  We need to be successful in treating both cancer and heart disease.”

“Additionally we hope this paper drives even more interest in the field so we can continue to see the development of more training programs, research and guideline development in the field of cardio-oncology.”

This research is chiefly reported by Dr. Laxmi Mehta, a cardiologist at The Ohio State University Ross Heart Hospital is the first to compile the newest information on prevalence, shared risk factors and cardiotoxic effects of cancer therapy, as well as prevention and treatment of heart disease in breast cancer patients. It was published in the journal Circulation.

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