What does your heart have to do with cancer treatment? Apparently a lot!
Improved treatments for cancer have resulted in patient survival which is a good thing – a great thing.
However, with those treatments, including radiation, drugs, and chemotherapy, can come some side effects, many having to do with your heart.
Some patients with heart disease have risk factors for cancer, and many patients with cancer are at risk for heart complications from their disease or treatments.
Cardio-oncology is a partnership between cardiology and oncology to make sure both diseases, or potential diseases, are looked at simultaneously. The American Heart Association reports people who have undergone breast cancer treatment, particularly older women, are increasingly at risk of long-term heart complications.
We are committed to supporting any cancer patient with concern about cardiovascular disease. We most commonly see those who will be receiving chemotherapy that can affect the heart, those with pre-existing heart disease, or those with new symptoms of heart disease. Our team includes providers in both oncology and cardiology and is integrated into the Hennepin Heart Center and the Comprehensive Cancer Center to ensure that care is well-coordinated.
Receiving care from an integrated cardio-oncology program at a premier teaching and research facility ensures that patients have access to:
- Quality care in a single location
- Good inter-provider communication to coordinate a treatment plan
- Continual improvement in care based on research and quality improvement efforts
- Follow-up through a cardio-oncology patient registry that collects data on cardiovascular complications of cancer treatment and subsequent outcomes