The Rush Approach to Cardio-Oncology
Thanks to advances in diagnosis and treatment, today more people are surviving cancer.
However, some of the chemotherapy drugs and radiation therapies that help cure your cancer can also damage your heart — putting your heart health at risk. This can lead to new heart problems — especially if you are already at high risk for heart disease — or make existing conditions worse.
That's where our cardio-oncology specialists step in. Our cardiologists focus specifically on the effects of cancer and cancer treatment on your heart.
Partnering with your cancer care team, we'll provide evaluation, care and treatment to help improve your heart function before and during cancer-related procedures and treatments. We'll also provide lifelong care and support after your cancer treatments to swiftly address any cancer-related heart conditions that may arise long after you finish treatment.
Rush Excellence in Cardio-Oncology Services
- Comprehensive cardiac care: As one of few health systems in the country with a dedicated cardio-oncology program, Rush University Medical Center offers the full range of heart care before, during and after your cancer treatment. Our team will perform a full cardiovascular evaluation and then work with your cancer care team to adjust your cancer treatments and medications to protect your heart as much as possible.
- Cardiovascular Imaging: We perform comprehensive cardiovascular imaging as necessary to help assess your cardiovascular risks prior to treatment, during treatment and after treatment; in order to continue to help you tailor your cardiac and cancer treatments through these steps.
- A focus on education: The more you know about how your cancer treatment affects your heart, the better. We'll make you a key player in your care plan by arming you with the information you need about your treatment regimen and signs and symptoms watch for.
- Blood pressure medication management: If you have high blood pressure and cancer, some of the biggest heart risks are heart failure and heart attack. Our cardio-oncology specialists will work with you to manage your blood pressure and your other cardiovascular risks with this in mind. For instance, we may recommend taking specific medications, such as ACE inhibitors or beta blockers, that control your blood pressure while also lowering your risk of heart failure.
- Heart surgery expertise: Our team specializes in heart surgery to address cancer-related heart conditions. For example, if you need valve replacement surgery, our cardio-oncology team may recommend mechanical valve replacement rather than tissue valve replacement if you've had radiation therapy, which causes lasting inflammation. A mechanical valve, made of metal and plastic, is not affected by the inflammation; a tissue valve replacement will get inflamed and cause long-lasting issues.