Cancer Treated Patients are Unaware of the Heart Risks

There has been research about the health risks that people with cancer treatments face which warns that patients are unaware of the risks that these therapies can have on heart health.

It is been investigated from Flinders University in Adelaide, Australia that patients who undergo chemotherapy or radiotherapy for cancer are actually risking their heart health with these treatments.

It’s also been known through research that patients are unaware or have very little knowledge of the cardiovascular risks because they are not informed by the doctor. Findings were produced in a congress recently at EuroHeartCare2019 where the study author Prof. Robyn Clark mentioned, “it’s according to the type of chemotherapy and radiotherapy, between 1% and 25%, cancer patients result in having heart failure because of cancer treatments”. She also mentioned that, “risk is also dependent on cardiovascular risk factors which include smoking and obesity. Monitoring the heart and intervention well before, during and after treatment can reduce or make it less potent for patients to get impacted by the cardiotoxicity.”

Cancer patients are unknown to the risks after treatments

When research was conducted about the heart failure risks in cancer patients, it was found that heart failure from therapy can develop after 20 years after the patients undergo treatments.

When the researchers had observed 46 patients they found out that only 11% were asked to meet a specialized cardiologist before beginning the treatment and medical professionals mentioned only 48% of patients to visit heart failure clinic after their treatment.

Prof. Clark and the colleagues also noticed that among the people they observed; about 40% were overweight or had obesity, 41% had smoked or were still smoking, 24% used alcohol regularly, 48% had high blood pressure, and 26% lived with diabetes

What should doctors do?

Based on the information provided, doctors should make sure they monitor hearts health of those undergoing cancer treatments and making sure they meet their patient’s needs accordingly.

Prof Clark and her colleagues also mentioned that doctors should make their patients aware of the risks that follow after the cancer treatments they go through and also provide good tips to avoid heart health issues such as having an overall healthy lifestyle.

Prof. Clark also mentions that if a cancer patient suffers from heart failure they can join effective therapies provided that doctors focus closely on their patient.

Further on, the observers mention that medical professionals can detect cardiotoxicity by either echocardiograms or cardio imaging or by identifying specific biomarkers. Those that get infected with heart failure can receive angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitors or beta-blockers as treatment.

For those whose heart health is being destroyed because of cancer treatments, modified cancer therapies reduce the risk provided their doctors observe any cardiovascular developments.

“For cancer patients who do develop heart failure, there are clinics that will improve their quality of life, but our study shows many are not referred,” Prof. Clark mentions.

She also strongly points out that, telephone calls help and monitors those with cancer and heart failure and overall reduces the need of hospital appointments which patients said was a must.