Cancer Treatment May Cause Heart Disease

Cancer Treatment May Cause Heart Disease



Certain breast cancer treatments have been found to​ make women more susceptible to​ heart disease. in​ the​ October 9 issue of​ the​ Journal of​ the​ American College of​ Cardiology, a​ variety of​ sources for​ heart disease risks have been identified, such as​ chest radiation, lack of​ exercise during treatments and​ stress.
Pamela S. Douglas, M.D., chief of​ cardiology at​ Duke University and​ co-author of​ the​ JACC paper, said that the​ greatest damage comes from a​ breast cancer treatment mainstay: chemotherapy. Douglas always felt that “the benefit of​ saving lives outweighed the​ risks and​ were just part of​ the​ accepted cost.” But with the​ success of​ treatment and​ growing survivor numbers, Douglas and​ her colleagues are urging doctors to​ take the​ long view when deciding on a​ woman's breast cancer treatment. First treat the​ cancer, but don't forget about cardiovascular health down the​ road.
Chemotherapy is​ a​ systemic therapy that makes use of​ drugs to​ treat cancer. Prior to​ a​ surgery, chemotherapy may be used both to​ reduce the​ size of​ the​ breast tumor and​ to​ destroy cancer cells wherever they may be. After the​ surgery, chemotherapy works throughout your system to​ kill cancer cells that may have spread throughout your body. Chemotherapy affects the​ whole body by going through the​ bloodstream. Just like other systemic treatments, the​ purpose of​ chemotherapy is​ to​ get rid of​ any cancer cells that may have spread from where the​ cancer started to​ another part of​ the​ body.
The body's normal cells grow and​ divide in​ a​ controlled manner. Cancer cells, however, grow and​ divide in​ seemingly total chaos --- without any control or​ logical order. Chemotherapy works by stopping the​ growth or​ multiplication of​ cancer cells, thereby killing them.
Specifically, Douglas and​ her team of​ researchers are looking at​ chemotherapy medicines called anthracyclines. These compounds are used to​ treat a​ variety of​ cancers, which includes leukemia, lymphomas, uterine, ovarian, and​ breast cancers. Anthracyclines are also known to​ have a​ weakening effect on some women's hearts.
According to​ Douglas, “There are other drugs that are less harmful, and​ we know a​ little bit about how to​ lower the​ doses”, but added that it's too soon to​ start completely overhauling breast cancer therapy. Instead, doctors and​ organizations including the​ National Breast Cancer Coalition are calling for​ more research into cancer treatments to​ see whether other drugs might yield the​ same result without the​ added long-term risk.
Douglas also stresses the​ importance of​ taking into consideration the​ different factors surrounding a​ woman's condition, as​ patients are “taking hits from multiple places.” While the​ cancer therapy might be one source of​ added cardiovascular risk, diet, weight, and​ family history also play a​ major role.
Still, she advises patients who learn they have breast cancer to​ consider treatment. “First get cured!” But she clearly emphasized to​ seriously take the​ consequences that dieting and​ regular exercise can have for​ your health while taking chemotherapy medications, something that is​ not necessarily heart healthy.
No matter how you look at​ it, cancer treatment remains to​ be a​ right combination of​ medicine and​ living a​ healthy lifestyle.




You Might Also Like:




No comments:

Powered by Blogger.