Breast Cancer Treatments Can Raise Heart Disease Risk In Women

02 February, 2018, 21:51 | Author: Inez Murphy
  • Media playback is unsupported on your device                  Media caption'I didn't want to be a statistic

Nearly 48 million women in the United States have some kind of heart disease, compared with 3.3 million women with breast cancer, the AHA said.

But for all patients, the chemotherapies may be life-saving. Myocardial strain imaging with speckle-tracking echocardiography is an effective predictor of cardiac dysfunction in patients receiving chemotherapy for breast cancer. "Even after they survive that, they still fear it", but heart disease is more likely to kill them, especially after age 65, Mehta said.

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.

Both affect millions of women in the US each year, but Mehta's team wrote it's a common misconception that cancer is more deadly than CVD.

Dr Okwuosa: "Making sure that they see the right person to determine if they need to start medication that would either prevent developing problems down the line from breast cancer treatment or actually treat a problem if they already have developed a heart problem as a result of treatment".

"Any patient who is going to undergo breast cancer treatment, whether they have heart disease at the beginning or not, should be aware of the potential effects of the treatments on their heart", said Indian-origin Laxmi Mehta, Associate Professor at The Ohio State University in the US.

"We assess the factors that are really important to patients, such as keeping their natural breast or avoiding radiation, and then we use that to generate a quantitative mapping of how those values relate to the treatments that they might be considering, and then show them visually", adds Hawley. Eight treatments at the typical intravenous dose brings a 5 percent risk of heart failure, but a 26 percent risk after 11 such treatments and a 48 percent risk after 14.

Doctors were also developing more-targeted radiation to reduce risks, the statement said.

Among options for hormonal breast cancer therapy, tamoxifen favorably affects lipid profiles, but studies showed no beneficial effect on CVD risk.

The AHA further notes that administering some chemotherapy treatments such as doxorubicin in new ways could yield better results and lower heart disease risks based on some small studies.

"Adriamycin, or doxorubicin, and trastuzumab, or Herceptin, are the big causes of heart failure", Brawley said.

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 fact, older breast cancer patients more often die of heart disease than cancer itself.

Authors of the AHA statement concluded, "These data confirm that postmenopausal HRT is associated with both breast cancer and CVD. and this is a potentially modifiable risk factor for both diseases".

It's recommended that people try to keep their BMI between 18.5 to 24.9, reduce eating too many fatty foods, and stick as much as possible to healthier fats from nuts, seeds, and plants when you do. She says oncologists and cardiologists need to work together closely to give patients the best chance against both diseases.


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