Preventing and Minimizing Heart Damage from Cancer Treatment
Chemotherapy, radiation therapy and other cancer treatments can be lifesaving, but they can also cause side effects that damage the heart — particularly in patients with, or at risk for, heart disease. Heart-related side effects of cancer treatment, also called cardiotoxicity, can be temporary, or develop years later. Heart conditions can include:
- Arrhythmias – Irregular heartbeats
- Congestive heart failure – A condition where the heart muscle has become too weak to pump efficiently
- Coronary artery disease – When arteries are clogged by fatty materials in the blood stream
- Heart attack – When a blood clot blocks blood to the heart, a medical emergency
- Valvular heart disease – Malfunction of one or more of the heart valves that can affect blood flow within the heart
At Hackensack Meridian Health, patients benefit from a leading-edge program that combines the expertise of renowned cancer physicians and cardiovascular specialists right here in New Jersey.
Working closely as a team with the patient’s primary care physician, we protect the heart before, during and after cancer treatment.
Who Is a Candidate for Cardio-Oncology Care?
Patients benefit from our Cardio-Oncology Program if they:
- Have cancer before or during treatment that may cause heart problems
- Had cancer treatment in the past and may have related heart problems
What to Expect
At Hackensack Meridian Health, all patients with cancer receive regular heart function screening and assessment throughout treatment.
We use the latest cardiac diagnostic technology and screenings to assess heart health, including echocardiography (or ECG or EKG) and others not available at all hospitals. If further evaluation is needed, we may perform minimally invasive cardiac catheterization or electrophysiology testing.
Our cardiovascular specialists work closely with medical oncologists, radiation oncologists, hematologists and other members of the cancer care team to coordinate treatment to stop heart damage early on, and even reverse it. We consider all aspects of a patient’s health for the best care possible.