Breast cancer treatment increase heart disease risks

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Breast cancer survivors especially aged women over the age of 65, are more prone to die from cardiovascular disease than breast cancer, emphasizing the significance of potently overseeing heart disease risk components during and succeeding cancer treatment.

Prompting attention to the fact that during treatment not only one's breast health but also general health, including that of the heart, should be considered, the researchers suggested.

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. "I have a family member who just finished her radiation for breast cancer, and I don't want to scare her about potential cardiac effects of her treatment". In some cases, the reduction in heart function is temporary and cessation of the treatment and/or the addition of heart medicines can improve function.

"We are still recommending that patients do get their breast cancer treatment".

But the most important message is that breast cancer survivors should be followed closely by a cardiologist who knows what medications and radiation their patient had for their breast cancer.

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.

The problems can occur in patients with healthy hearts going into treatment.

Other treatments, such as radiation, can affect the heart arteries and cause the development of coronary artery disease or blockages.

The anthracycline class of chemotherapeutic drugs can trigger abnormal heart rhythms, which may be benign or potentially life-threatening.

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The report said some heart damage, including the kind caused by drug Herceptin sometimes can be reversed.

Although breast cancer death rates have declined since 1989, over 40,000 American women die from the disease every year.

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.

Adherence to a number of ideal heart health behaviours including being physically active, achieving and maintaining a healthy body weight could help.

” said Michelle LeBaron of Northern Utah, now 58, who was diagnosed and treated for stage 3B inflammatory breast cancer in 2004.

While there aren't many options when it comes to age and family history, Mehta et al. wrote patients can mitigate their symptoms by following the AHA's "Life's Simple 7" guidelines, which should reduce the odds of developing either condition.

Over the same period of time, breast cancer has benefited from a screening programme, along with significant investments in research, and there have been more than double the number of published breast cancer studies compared with those on prostate cancer.

Co-authors are Karol E. Watson, M.D., Ph.D., Vice-Chair; Ana Barac, M.D., Ph.D.; Theresa M. Beckie, Ph.D.; Vera Bittner, M.D., M.S.P.H.; Salvador Cruz-Flores, M.D., M.P.H.; Susan F. Dent, M.D.; Lavanya Kondapalli, M.D.; Bonnie Ky, M.D.; Tochukwu Okwuosa, D.O.; Ileana L. Piña, M.D., M.P.H., FAHA; and Annabelle S. Volgman, M.D.; on behalf of the American Heart Association Cardiovascular Disease in Women and Special Populations Committee of the Council on Clinical Cardiology; Council on Cardiovascular and Stroke Nursing; and Council on Quality of Care and Outcomes Research.

Several authors disclosed financial ties to the pharmaceutical industry.


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