Cancer Patients Need Special Heart Care

Advances in chemotherapy and radiation therapy have significantly reduced cancer-related deaths, but they can also cause lasting damage to the heart. Some treatments aggravate preexisting heart conditions, while others introduce new ones. With cancer patients living longer, many face increased long-term cardiovascular risks from cancer therapy, often known as cardiotoxicity. 

University of Michigan Health Frankel Cardiovascular Center established the state’s first Cardio-Oncology Clinic, where heart specialists focus on managing cardiovascular risk, and preventing and treating heart damage related to chemotherapy and radiation. This clinic is among a select few worldwide that are specifically designed to address the effects of cancer treatment on the heart as well as treatment of certain rare diseases such as carcinoid heart disease and cardiac amyloid related to multiple myeloma.

Cardiovascular Issues from Cancer Treatment 

Cancer therapies can lead to heart complications such as heart failure, myocarditis, heart attacks, blood pressure fluctuations, arrhythmias, fibrosis, and heart valve disease. As newer and more potent cancer drugs are used, often on older patients who may have existing heart disease, the U-M Health Cardio-Oncology team aims to safeguard heart function and improve the quality of life for these individuals. 

Benefits for Patients with Heart and Cancer Conditions

For patients with cancer and known heart disease, the clinic provides comprehensive pre-surgical or pre-treatment evaluation. These evaluations assess risks associated with treatment-related cardiovascular side effects, optimize medication regimens and initiate preventive therapies. 

In close collaboration with the oncology team, patients’ cardiovascular status is closely monitored throughout their cancer therapy and post-treatment using detailed clinical assessments and advanced technologies like strain echocardiography, cardiac MRI and blood biomarkers. 

The ultimate goal of the Cardio-Oncology Clinic is to guide patients safely through their cancer treatment while minimizing its impact on the heart. 

Make an Appointment

To make an appointment for heart or vascular care, or to learn more about our Cardio-Oncology Clinic, 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.