Cardio-oncology focuses on patients with exposure to agents that may affect their hearts. In terms of women’s health, statistics indicate many of the patients seen in a cardio-oncology program are women with breast cancer.
Women have specific concerns, and frequently ask: “Is this therapy going to affect my heart?” It can, but the new methods of treatment such as Align RT – used with radiation therapy – are helpful particularly with left side breast cancer in minimizing the of risk of the radiation affecting the heart.
Also, melanoma and lung cancer patients are now living longer and cardio-oncology can also help them. There are new types of side effects and symptoms as a result of increased survivorship of patients with cancers that are more difficult to treat.
Here is why we need to stay watchful: since chemotherapy has improved survival, the long-term implications of cardiovascular complications have become more important.