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What You Should Know About Your Heart Health If You Have Cancer

You receive a cancer diagnosis, and your attention is focused on ridding your body of this insidious disease. Unfortunately, the cancer itself, as well as your treatments, may affect your cardiovascular health, which is where we can help.

Dr. Satjit Bhusri and the team here at Upper East Side Cardiology understand the unique challenges that come with protecting your heart as you battle cancer. As a cardio-oncology specialist, Dr. Bhusri’s role is to ensure that your cardiovascular health is properly monitored so you come out the other side in full health.

The connection between your heart health and cancer

There are many ways in which a cancer diagnosis can affect your heart health, but the following two areas are ones we’re concerned with most:

Cancer treatments

If you’re undergoing treatments for cancer, such as radiation, chemotherapy, or immunotherapy, each has the potential to negatively impact your heart health. 

Let’s first take a look at chemotherapy, which is the use of chemicals to kill fast-growing cancer cells. This treatment can be effective, but it’s a systemic approach that affects your entire body, including healthier fast-growing cells.

While radiation is more targeted, if you’re having radiation in your chest, it can impact your heart.

Even surgical excision of your cancer poses a threat to your cardiovascular health as your heart needs to work harder to help your body heal.

Pre-existing heart issues

Another area of concern are patients with pre-existing cardiovascular issues who receive a cancer diagnosis. The rigors of the treatments, and the cancer, can tax your already weakened heart and blood vessels.

We hesitate to use scare tactics, but the American Cancer Society reports that a study among three million cancer patients found that 1 in 10 died of cardiovascular disease. Our hope is that, through cardio-oncology, we can lower these numbers.

The benefits of cardio-oncology

We know that battling cancer can be tough, and it’s all you can do to keep up with the many demands that are placed on you. That said, it’s terribly important that you ensure all areas of your health are well-monitored before, during, and after your treatments, especially your cardiovascular health.

Through our cardio-oncology services, we specialize in helping:

We offer state-of-the-art diagnostic testing, such as echocardiograms and electrocardiograms, which allow us to monitor your heart health every step of the way.

In fact, most cardio-oncology patients come see us for an evaluation before they begin a therapy or undergo surgery. Cancer treatments are aggressive, and we want to make sure your heart can handle the assault.

Then, throughout your treatments, we keep a close eye on your cardiovascular health to detect any changes, which allows us to quickly intervene. We also supply you with recommendations for boosting your heart health during your treatments, including dietary counseling.

We’re also with you in survivorship, especially if the cancer has exacted a toll on your cardiovascular health.

The bottom line is that fighting cancer takes a coordinated effort, and we’re here to do our part. To learn more about cardio-oncology, contact our New York City office on the Upper East Side, Manhattan, to schedule a consultation.

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