When treating cancer, some of the treatments may cause damage to your heart, especially if you are at risk of heart disease. Cancer treatments - including chemotherapy drugs and radiation to the chest area - can aggravate existing heart conditions or create new ones. Patients with cancer are more likely to experience long-term heart complications of cancer therapy or die from heart disease. Heart complications that can arise from cancer treatments include heart failure, heart attacks, high or low blood pressures, arrhythmias, and heart valve disease.
The goal of the Cardio-Oncology clinic is to collaborate with your oncologist to make sure you complete the most appropriate cancer therapy, while minimizing possible damage to your heart and treating any heart conditions.
In the Cardio-Oncology clinic, doctors trained in heart disease (cardiologists) will evaluate and treat heart conditions before, during or after cancer therapy, as needed. Patients with a high risk of heart disease, patients with an existing heart disease and patients who develop heart disease or heart complications from cancer treatment will benefit from the clinic services.
What to expect at the Cardio-Oncology clinic
- Advice and guidance before and during cancer therapy on how to prevent, monitor and treat heart conditions
- Treatment for pre-existing heart conditions including heart medications if needed
- Collaborate with oncologist to discuss the cancer treatment options for people at high risk of heart disease or existing heart disease
- Monitoring heart disease or risk of heart disease before, during and after cancer therapy with regular imaging tests and blood tests to look for signs of heart complications
- Screening and Treatment of heart conditions that may develop during cancer treatment as a result of certain chemotherapy drugs or receiving radiation therapy to the chest area
- Lifestyle education to reduce the risk of heart disease including regular exercise, a heart-healthy diet and stopping smoking.