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Some Breast Cancer Therapies Linked to Heart Disease Risk

Yeast Infection and STI Treatment Side Effects
Yeast Infection and STI Treatment Side Effects

Some breast cancer treatments may increase your risk of heart disease, according to a scientific statementissued by the American Heart Association.

The group is suggesting that cancer patients and their doctors discuss the benefits and potential harms associated with specific breast cancer treatments before moving forward with the therapy.

For instance, some cancer patients who receive targeted therapy for HER2 breast cancer may experience heart failure. Another example includes radiation therapy, which can damage the heart arteries and cause coronary artery disease or blockages.

Laxmi Mehta, MD, chair of the writing group for the new statement, said, “Any patient who is going to undergo cancer treatment, whether they have heart disease at the beginning or not, should be aware of the potential effects of the treatments on their heart.”

Mehta went on to explain that the news should not dissuade or frighten cancer patients from receiving the proper breast cancer treatment, but should rather encourage them to weigh all of the pros and cons associated with specific cancer treatments.

“Fortunately, with the advances in cancer treatment, there has been a growing number of survivors. However, during and after the treatment of cancer, having optimal control of heart disease risk factors is important, because older breast cancer survivors are more likely to die of heart disease than cancer,” Dr. Mehta said.

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