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AHA: Breast Cancer Patients at Increased Risk for CV Disease

Beyond overlapping risk factors, breast cancer treatments can have negative effect on CV health

THURSDAY, Feb. 1, 2018 (HealthDay News) — Due to shared risk factors and impact on heart health from cancer treatment, comprehensive care is necessary for breast cancer patients to optimize both cancer treatment and cardiovascular health, according to a scientific statement from the American Heart Association published online Feb. 1 in Circulation.

Laxmi S. Mehta, M.D., from The Ohio State University in Columbus, and colleagues discuss the intersection between cardiovascular disease, which remains the leading cause of mortality in women, and breast cancer, which is perceived by many to be the number one threat to women’s health.

The authors note that there are several overlapping risk factors for CVD and breast cancer, including obesity and smoking. Current treatment for breast cancer can have a negative effect on cardiovascular health such as left ventricular dysfunction and accelerated CVD; this may influence cancer treatment decisions by the patient and provider among women with pre-existing CVD. Improvements in early detection and breast cancer treatment has led to an increasing number of survivors who may have a long-term cardiac complication risk resulting from treatments. CVD poses a greater mortality risk for older women than breast cancer.

“Ideal breast cancer outcomes are reliant on coexisting cardiovascular health along the entire journey of breast cancer treatment,” the authors write. “With the evolving intersection of the cardiovascular and oncologic fields, comprehensive care is an essential element in the management of cancer patients to maximize gains in cancer treatment while minimizing the potential deleterious impact on cardiovascular health.”

Several authors disclosed financial ties to the pharmaceutical industry.

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