What is Cardiotoxicity?
Cancer and heart disease are well-known diseases and the world’s leading causes of mortality. However, many people do not realize the short and long-term effects of cancer therapy on the heart. Some cancer survivors are at risk of developing heart problems as a result of their cancer treatment. This is called cancer therapy-related cardiac dysfunction, or cardiotoxicity.
Cardiotoxicity may present as high blood pressure, inflammation in the heart, heart valve problems, abnormal heart rhythms, damaged blood vessels including narrowing/hardening of the arteries around the heart, blood clots, and, ultimately, heart failure.
It is important that cancer survivors are aware of potential links between their successful cancer treatment and potential heart problems, with prevention and treatment strategies in place.