Heart group warns of cardiovascular risks after treatment for breast cancer

Heart group warns of cardiovascular risks after treatment for breast cancer

This compares to 11,442 women dying from breast cancer.

Just as Tonda Gonce won her fight against breast cancer, she quickly found out there was a whole new battle in front of her.

Q: What are the problems and which treatments can cause them? So what should women do when they hear that some chemotherapy is toxic to heart cells?

Prostate Cancer UK said the number of men dying from prostate cancer every year has overtaken the number of women dying from breast cancer, with 11,819 men now dying from prostate cancer in the UK every year - the equivalent of one man every 45 minutes. An estimated 47 million women in the US have heart disease.

HER-2 targeted therapies, for instance, are popular cancer breast treatments that can save patients' lives, but they can also lead to heart failure, which is a weakening of the heart muscle. And if a woman goes to an emergency rooom with symptoms of heart failure, he said, triage nurses need to factor in past breast cancer treatment when making the initial determination of whether she has heart failure.

Culhane added: "We haven't yet got the big game-changing advances that breast cancer has had in terms of the screening programme and also the precision medicine development".

Though no single gene can predict simultaneous diagnoses of breast cancer and CVD, scientists have uncovered some genetic clues linked to cancer risk. "Let's give these drugs and treatments to people who need them - the risk-benefit is more favorable - and let's do all we can to determine who is unlikely to benefit from the drugs and spare them the risks".

"As the population ages, there will likely be more women with breast cancer, CVD, or both", Mehta et al. said.

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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.

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

The American Heart Association released a scientific statement, warning that some breast cancer therapies pose serious risks of heart disease.

The diseases share many common risk factors such as obesity, smoking and too little exercise, so reducing these can help.

Mehta and co-authors wrote that radiation in itself can encourage artery blockage and result in coronary artery disease.

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.

Men with prostate cancer can also live for decades without symptoms or needing treatment because the disease often progresses very slowly. Doctors at the former are generally more experienced, and having cardiologists under the same roof can mean better management of the cardiovascular harms from cancer treatment.

With regard to potential adverse effects of cancer treatment on the heart, the AHA panel noted that two widely used cancer medications - doxorubicin and trastuzumab (Herceptin) - can damage heart tissue and reduce the heart's functional capacity, effects associated with the development of heart failure.

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