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REVIEW ARTICLE
Year : 2017  |  Volume : 6  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 60-67

Managing cancer patients: The heart really matters


Department of Cardiology, Medanta - The Medicity, Gurgaon, Haryana, India

Correspondence Address:
Madhu Mary Minz
Department of Cardiology, Medanta - The Medicity, Gurgaon, Haryana
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/JCPC.JCPC_8_17

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Early diagnosis of cancer and advances in the methods of cancer treatment over the past 25–30 years has led to increased number of cancer survivors. However, the conventional cancer treatments, radiotherapy, and the newer targeted therapy while successful at treating cancers are known to cause ill effects on the heart. Cardiotoxicity can develop during cancer treatment or can occur within days or months or even years after cessation of cancer treatment. The side effects of cancer treatment on the heart can be transient or can sometimes cause permanent damage to the heart, requiring life-long cardiac medications. The cardiovascular complications include myocardial dysfunction and heart failure, coronary artery disease, valvular heart disease, arterial hypertension, arrhythmia, QT prolongation, peripheral vascular disease, thromboembolic disease, and pericardial diseases. Chemotherapy-induced cardiotoxicity can sometimes affect the ongoing cancer treatment, reduce quality of life, and increase the risk of death from cardiac-related causes. Early diagnosis of cardiac side effects using biomarkers such and imaging followed by initiation of cardioprotective drug is of utmost importance, so that the cancer patient can get overall benefit of life-saving cancer therapy. A long-term follow-up to identify late cardiac complications is also encouraged.


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