Breast cancer tool improves patient knowledge of treatment options

Breast cancer tool improves patient knowledge of treatment options

Breast cancer tool improves patient knowledge of treatment options

It's vital that clinicians be able to identify patients at risk for cardiovascular complications from their 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.

Identifying at-risk patients is crucial.

Just as Tonda Gonce won her fight against breast cancer, she quickly found out there was a whole new battle in front of her. Biomarkers such as brain natriuretic peptide (BNP) and troponin I are indicators of chemotherapy-induced cardiac disease and may accurately reflect radiotherapy-induced cardiotoxicity occurrence as well.

"The problem is, no one has this on their radar", so patients are not routinely checked for it, Dr. Javid Moslehi, head of a Vanderbilt University clinic specializing in heart risks from cancer therapies, said when a study reported this problem about a year ago. In some patients, the reduction in heart function is temporary.

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

Still, Mehta and co-authors said, doctors and patients alike need to recognize the importance of monitoring cardiovascular health throughout the process of cancer treatment to avoid any unexpected complications.

Some small studies suggest that administering common chemotherapy agents in new ways may reduce heart disease risks.

New figures from Prostate Cancer UK have revealed that 11,819 men now die from prostate cancer every year in the UK, compared to 11,442 women dying from breast cancer.

Despite prostate cancer overtaking breast cancer to become the third biggest cancer killer, the shift does not represent a worsening situation for those with the disease. Healthcare providers should monitor a woman's heart health before, during and after breast cancer treatment.

Rhee has witnessed more precise radiation therapy in the past 18 years, which may result in fewer cases of heart and valve disease in the future than was caused by heavier doses of radiation spread broadly across patients torsos and chests.

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. That's a problem because heart failure caused by a chemo drug like doxorubicin is treated differently than heart failure from a heart attack, he said. And it stressed that breast cancer survivors can improve their chances of a long, healthy life by exercising regularly and sticking to a healthy diet. Trying to remove yourself from these at-risk brackets by altering your lifestyle could help with prevention.

Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of mortality in women, accounting for 1 in 3 deaths. "With the evolving intersection of the cardiovascular and oncologic fields, comprehensive care is an essential element in the management of cancer patients to maximize gains in cancer treatment while minimizing the potential deleterious impact on cardiovascular health".

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