War on Cancer Causes 'collateral Damage'

ST. LOUIS, Sept. 22 (UPI) — The war on cancer has resulted in sophisticated surgeries and chemotherapies, but increased heart risk may be “collateral damage,” U.S. researchers say.

Guest editors of the September/October issue of Progress in Cardiovascular Diseases, Dr. Douglas L. Mann and Dr. Ronald J. Krone, both of the division of cardiology at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, look at the ways in which cancer treatment impacts patients’ cardiovascular function.

“The management of heart disease in all its forms in patients with cancer in all its forms presents special challenges to the cardiologist,” the editors say in a statement.

“In the war on cancer, the cardiologist is not in the front lines, directly confronting the enemy, but in the role of support and supply, providing the oncologist the ability to keep the warrior strong enough to defeat the enemy. In fighting the war on cancer, there is, like in any war, unwanted collateral damage.”

Treatment of a tumor is not done in a “shotgun” approach, though bone marrow, liver and the nervous system are hit as well, but the heart and vascular system are at risk depending on the weapon used because blood is involved in any treatment delivery, Mann and Krone say.

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