Breast cancer treatment may up the chances of heart disease, says American Heart Association

Cancer treatment
Representational image of cancer treatment Pixabay

The American Heart Association, on Thursday, warned that women who undergo chemotherapy for breast cancer may be at increased risk of cardiovascular disorders including heart failure. The association added that patients could get benefit from discussing those risks with their doctors.

It should be noted that this is the first scientific statement from the American Heart Association on a link between cardiovascular disorders and breast cancer. The American Heart Association also added that cardiovascular diseases pose a greater threat of mortality than breast cancer among older women.

According to the statement, cardiovascular disorders and breast cancer have several overlapping factors including age and obesity, and the study warns that the life-saving measures adopted for breast cancer patients could negatively impact their heart health.

The statement listed three major factors which heighten the risk of cardiovascular disorders among breast cancer survivors.

  • Adverse body conditions including hypertension and high cholesterol levels which goes unchecked during the time of cancer treatment
  • Exposure of human body to chemotherapy and radiation will elevate the risks of heart damage
  • Embracing sedentary lifestyle like lack of physical exercise and eating of junk foods which will, in turn, lead to weight gain during the treatment

Even though breast cancer treatment elevates the risk of heart disease, experts recommend victims not to avoid treatment. "We hate to trade one disease for another. We are still recommending that patients do get their breast cancer treatment. They should get the best treatment that's necessary for their breast cancer," said Dr Laxmi Mehta, director of the Women's Cardiovascular Health Program at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center, reports CNN.

Experts recommended breast cancer patients to follow a heart-friendly life pattern including a healthy diet and regular physical exercises. It is also very much necessary to monitor blood pressure and cholesterol levels regularly to reduce the risk of cardiac events.