Warning for breast cancer patients
The American Heart Association has a warning for breast cancer patients:
You may have an increased risk of serious heart issues.
In the first major report linking cancer treatment and heart disease, medical experts highlight three main reasons for potential heart trouble:
- Chemotherapy and radiation could damage the heart
- Lack of exercise during cancer treatment could lead to weight gain
- High cholesterol, uncontrolled hypertension or other pre-existing risk factors could go unchecked during breast cancer treatment.
Doctors say the greatest risk is from the chemo drug doxorubicin, an anthracyclin.
According to the study, patients who receive eight treatments have a 5-percent higher risk of heart failure. Those who receive 14 rounds of the drug have a risk of up to 48 percent.
And breast cancer survivors over 65 are said to be more likely to die from heart diseases than breast cancer.
It's very important to know medical experts are not saying breast cancer patients should avoid treatment that could potentially save their lives. But they are encouraging patients to have thorough conversations with their doctors about possible risks.