While cancer treatments such as chemotherapy and radiation can control cancer, certain therapies may produce serious side effects on the heart. Cancer survivors may develop later complications such as arrhythmias, coronary artery disease, valvular heart disease and heart failure.
The Cardio-oncology Program, a collaboration between Brigham and Women's Hospital’s (BWH) Heart & Vascular Center and Dana-Farber/Brigham and Women’s Cancer Center (DF/BWCC), is one of a few programs in the country that brings together expert oncologists and cardiologists to provide optimal cardiovascular care for cancer patients during and after treatment, including:
Patients with existing cardiovascular issues who have newly diagnosed cancer and need to be safely guided through medical and surgical treatment for their cancer.
Patients who have cardiac side effects from traditional cancer therapies, such as anthracyclines (chemotherapy) and radiation, and newer agents like Herceptin.
Patients being treated with novel molecular-targeted therapies that may have potentially adverse cardiovascular effects.
Patients who are long-term cancer survivors and need to be screened and treated for cardiovascular issues that may or may not be related to their treatment.
Patients with tumors of the heart; myxoma is the most common cardiac tumor, with 75 percent occurring in the left atrium.
After being referred to the Cardio-oncology Program, each patient will meet with one of our physicians for a comprehensive consultation and evaluation. Following the evaluation, which may include imaging to further define a patient’s cardiovascular condition, our team will develop an individualized treatment plan. Treatment varies according to the type of heart condition, the patient’s progress, whether they have any other underlying conditions and whether they are currently being treated for cancer.
Our patients with cancer-related heart issues have access to BWH’s many resources, including experts throughout the fields of cardiovascular medicine, cardiac surgery, cardiac imaging, vascular surgery, oncology and other specialties.