Breast cancer and your heart health

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind.– October is breast cancer awareness month, and one thing you may not think to worry about while fighting breast cancer is your heart health. Officials say cardio vascular disease is now impacting current breast cancer patients and survivors.

Today, the average 5-year survival rate for breast cancer is 90%, but breast cancer survivors are at a higher risk for cardio vascular disease. Now that new cancer therapies have developed, doctors have identified more cardio issues related to them.

It is crucial to pay attention to your heart health before, during, and after breast cancer treatments. And it’s even more important to pay attention if you have diabetes or hypertension. Those who are at a higher risk for cardio vascular disease are current breast cancer treatment patients, patients who received radiation to the left breast, patients who had anthracycline chemo, and older patients that are post menopausal. While this may be alarming, there are things to do to lower your risk.

That includes reducing smoking and alcohol intake, increasing exercise, finishing cancer care, and creating a future survivorship plan. Plus you can take beta blockers, ace inhibitors, and some doctors even recommend statin therapy. The best thing you can do is to ask your Oncologist if you should see a Cardiologist during your breast cancer treatment.

Franciscan Health in central Indiana has a Cardio-Oncology division who is willing to help you and your fight against breast cancer and keeping your heart healthy.

If you or someone you know is battling breast cancer and has some of the risk factors mentioned, contact your oncologist to find out if cardio-oncology is right for you.

To learn more, click here.

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