The growing awareness among Americans with respect to breast cancer and heart disease is quite evident, pink ribbons and red dresses have helped millions of men & women become aware of the risks, precautions, and prevention related to the above two most common illnesses. However, not many know that the above two illnesses can intersect and heart disease may arise in a patient suffering from breast cancer or undergoing treatment for the same.
In a recent article Dr. Laxmi Mehta, who specializes in Cardiovascular Disease at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center in Columbus threw light on the matter and explained how fluid buildup around the heart during cancer can cause damage to heart also, most of the time treatments like radiation therapy for breast cancer can cause blocked heart arteries, heart valve issues and abnormal heart rhythms in some patients. Chemotherapy too weakens heart leading to blood clots and high blood pressure.
Dr. Laxmi Mehta stated “If they get a weakened heart muscle, in some people that means they have to stop treatment for a while until the heart recovers. Or, in other people, it might mean you can’t have that treatment at all. They’re already psychologically under a lot of stress with cancer treatment, and now we’re telling you, ‘By the way, your heart is a problem.’ Many patients will say, ‘I don’t care about my heart – just fix cancer now!'”
Dr. Debu Tripathy, MD, professor of medicine, chair, department of breast medical oncology at MD Anderson Cancer Center shares how lifestyle changes like diet and exercise can help keep risk factors with Breast cancer and Heart disease in check.
Dr. Debu Tripathy stated “The data is compelling enough that adopting the heart-healthy approach in terms of exercise and diet is good for both heart and breast cancer health,” whether you’re talking about preventing or surviving the conditions. We all have pre-malignant cells in our body that are moving toward cancer. The immune system and other protective mechanisms fight a constant battle against these cells, either by tricking them into committing suicide or destroying them. Every now and then the body gets overwhelmed, and that’s when you get cancer.”
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