Thanks to advances in diagnosis and treatment, today more and more people are surviving cancer.
But some of the chemotherapy drugs and radiation therapies that help you become cancer-free can also damage your heart. This can lead to new heart problems — especially if you are already at high risk for heart disease — or make existing conditions worse.
There are many cardiovascular issues linked with chemotherapy and/or radiation therapy, such as arrhythmias, coronary artery blockages, heart attack, heart failure, high or low blood pressure, and valve disease. Chemotherapy may also cause certain cardiovascular risk factors (e.g., tyrosine-kinase-inhibitor-induced hypertension) to develop.
Because the risk of heart disease from cancer therapies can last a lifetime, proper post-treatment monitoring is essential for cancer survivors.
The cardio-oncology program at Rush is here to help by offering the following:
- Evaluation and medical care to enhance your heart function before cancer-related procedures or surgery
- Treatments to prevent or minimize damage to your heart while you are being treated for cancer (without changing your cancer regimen)
- Assessment of and treatment for heart damage caused by past cancer treatments