Cancer Patients Need Special Heart Care
Better treatment with chemotherapy and radiation therapy has reduced cancer deaths significantly. But for some patients, cancer treatment can cause lasting damage to the heart by aggravating existing heart conditions or causing new ones. Patients with cancer are now living longer than ever and are more likely to experience long-term cardiovascular effects of cancer therapy or die from heart disease. The cardiovascular risks and toxic effects of cancer therapies on the heart is known among physicians as cardiotoxicity. The University of Michigan Frankel Cardiovascular Center is home to the state’s first cardio-oncology clinic, where heart specialists focus on optimizing cardiovascular risk and preventing and treating heart damage caused by chemotherapy and radiation. Only a handful of hospitals around the world have dedicated programs with scientists and physicians working to address the impact of cancer treatment on the heart.
Cardiovascular issues that can arise from cancer treatment include heart failure, heart attacks, high or low blood pressure, arrhythmias, fibrosis and heart valve disease. As newer, more potent cancer drugs are used on older patients who may already have heart disease, the U-M Cardio-Oncology team is working to enhance the quality of life for these patients by protecting their heart function.
Heart and Cancer Patients Benefit
For heart patients with cancer and known heart disease, clinic doctors perform a comprehensive pre-surgical or pre-treatment evaluation, assessing risk for treatment-related cardiovascular side effects, optimizing medication regimens and initiating preventive therapies.
In close collaboration with the Oncology team, patients’ cardiovascular status is monitored closely throughout cancer therapy and in survivorship using detailed clinical assessments and state of the art technologies such as strain echocardiography, cardiac MRI and blood biomarkers.
The clinic is in the University of Michigan Frankel Cardiovascular Center, a 5-level facility that unites the U-M Health System’s cardiovascular services, located at the heart of the medical campus at the corner of Ann and Observatory streets in Ann Arbor. Get driving directions to the Frankel Cardiovascular Center.
Make an Appointment
To make an appointment for heart or vascular care, or to learn more about our cardio-oncology program, call us at 888-287-1082 or visit our Make a Cardiovascular Appointment page, where you may view other details about making an appointment and find out what to expect when you call.