Heart Care for Cancer Patients

Improved Cardiovascular Outcomes for Cancer Patients

Since permanent heart damage is a potential side effect of some cancer treatments, cardiologists and oncologists at University Hospitals work together to provide comprehensive, advanced heart care for cancer patients.

If you are a cancer patient, our cardio-oncology program can allow you to continue receiving cancer treatment while reducing damage to your heart. We address the impact of cancer treatment on heart function and provide complete testing and management both while you are in the hospital or as outpatient services.

Although cancer therapies are vital for destroying cancer cells, some of them can produce toxins that decrease heart function or cause long-term heart damage. Our cardio-oncology program evaluates each cancer patient’s risk for developing heart disease and helps them select the best cancer treatments for their individual heart condition and heart disease risk.

Cancer patients who are at risk of developing heart disease and those who are already suffering from a heart problem could benefit from this program.

Heart and Blood Vessel Complications from Cancer Treatment

There are various heart and blood vessel complications linked to chemotherapy, radiation therapy and other cancer treatments. Some of the most common ones include:

Latest Advancements in Cardiac Surveillance

By using the latest advancements in heart surveillance, our cardiologists can view the function of your heart and receive important real-time information that is needed to evaluate your risk for developing a heart condition while undergoing cancer treatment. If you have already been diagnosed with a heart condition, these heart monitoring tools can provide critical information for the best possible treatment choices:

  • Cardiac magnetic resonance imaging (MRI): Uses a powerful magnetic field, radio waves and a computer to generate detailed pictures of the heart structures
  • CT assessment of heart artery calcium: Produces images of the coronary arteries to determine if they are blocked or narrowed by plaque buildup
  • CT angiography with HeartFlow® technology: Provides anatomic and functional information regarding the extent and significance of coronary artery blockages
  • 3D echocardiography with strain technology: Allows for 3D visualization of the heart structures
  • Novel biomarkers: Predicts cardiovascular events so proper management decisions can be made
  • Functional exercise testing: Measures how the heart functions when it’s under exercise-induced stress
  • Endomyocardial biopsy: Obtains a small piece of myocardial tissue for pathologic evaluation

Heart Protection Before, During and After Cancer Treatment

Before your cancer treatment, cardiologists and oncologists come together to discuss your heart function and possible treatments. A specialized treatment plan will be developed that may include types of medications that will not interfere with your cancer treatment and the use of drugs that may not affect your heart. To ensure your best outcome, we pair a comprehensive, personalized assessment with the right diagnostic testing and latest cardiovascular therapies.

During your cancer treatment, our cardio-oncology team will monitor your heart for potential heart issues and conditions. We will recommend lifestyle and dietary changes to reduce cardiac risk and offer cardiac support throughout the entire treatment process.

After your cancer treatment, we will schedule structured follow-up appointments and continue to monitor you for potential heart problems. Our goal will be to encourage heart health and help you improve your quality of life.

For More Information about UH’s Cardio-Oncology Services

If you or someone you love has been diagnosed with cancer, be sure they know about cardio-oncology services at University Hospitals. Protecting your heart should be an integral part of cancer treatment and our team can help.