With advancements in medical research, treatment options for cancer have increased dramatically. However, some cancer treatments affect the heart. This is where Cardio-Oncology comes in. In this blog post, we will discuss the key topics related to Cardio-Oncology geared towards patients undergoing treatment and how it can affect their heart.
Understanding Cardio-Oncology: The Basics
Cardio-Oncology is a relatively new field of medicine that focuses on the management and prevention of cardiovascular disease in cancer patients. It involves a multidisciplinary team of cardiologists, oncologists, and other healthcare professionals who work together to provide the best possible care for patients.
The Impact of Cancer Treatment on the Heart
Some cancer treatments, such as chemotherapy and radiation therapy, can cause damage to the heart and lead to cardiovascular disease. This damage can manifest in a number of ways, including heart failure, arrhythmias, and coronary artery disease. Cardio-Oncology aims to prevent, detect, and treat these cardiovascular complications.
Assessing the Risk of Cardiovascular Disease
Cardio-Oncology specialists assess a patient's risk of developing cardiovascular disease based on a number of factors, including their medical history, the type of cancer they have, and the specific treatments they are receiving. Patients at risk of developing cardiovascular complications or are suspected to have related conditions are referred for cardiovascular workup screening and if necessary, treatment.
Managing Cardiovascular Complications
If a patient does develop cardiovascular complications as a result of their cancer treatment, the Cardio-Oncology team will work together to manage these complications. This may involve medication, lifestyle changes, changes to the treatment regimen or more intensive treatments such as surgery.
The Importance of Long-Term Follow-Up
Because cardiovascular complications may develop later even when in remission for cancer, it is important for cancer survivors to keep healthy and monitor their heart health. This may involve regular visits to a cardiologist.
In conclusion, Cardio-Oncology is an important field of medicine that focuses on the intersection of heart health and cancer treatment. By working together, cardiologists and oncologists can help cancer survivors to manage their heart health and improve their quality of life. If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with cancer, speak to your healthcare provider about the importance of Cardio-Oncology care.