Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Many breast cancer patients don't get treatment for heart problems

Date:
June 3, 2014
Source:
American Heart Association
Summary:
About 12 percent of older breast cancer patients developed heart failure within three years, often as a result of the cancer drugs and treatments. Despite this, only a third of older breast cancer patients saw a cardiologist within 90 days of developing heart problems. Those who saw a cardiologist were more likely to receive standard drugs for heart failure than those who didn't, researchers report.

Only a third of older breast cancer patients saw a cardiologist within 90 days of developing heart problems, in a study presented at the American Heart Association's Quality of Care and Outcomes Research 2014 Scientific Sessions.

Related Articles


Breast cancer patients with heart problems who saw a cardiologist were more likely to receive standard therapy for their heart failure than those who did not see a heart specialist, the study found.

"The majority of older women who develop heart problems after their breast cancer therapy aren't treated by a cardiologist, and they had lower quality of care," said Jersey Chen, M.D., M.P.H., lead author of the study and a research scientist and cardiologist at Kaiser Permanente in Rockville, Maryland. "This suggests that this is an important area for oncologists and cardiologists to collaborate."

For the study, researchers used a Medicare-linked database to identify women older than 65 who were diagnosed in 2000-09 with stage I-III breast cancer and received cancer treatments that previously had been linked to heart problems.

The study tracked which patients developed cardiomyopathy or heart failure. Cardiomyopathy is a weakening of the heart and its ability to pump blood. Heart failure occurs when the weakened heart causes symptoms such as fatigue and shortness of breath.

Among 8,400 breast cancer patients treated with either chemotherapy drugs called anthracyclines or a targeted therapy called trastuzumab, 1,028 -- about 12 percent -- developed heart problems within three years, and 345 (34 percent) saw a cardiologist within 90 days of their heart diagnosis. Women with heart failure after cancer treatment were more likely to be treated with standard medications if seen by a cardiologist compared with those who did not see a cardiologist.

"The bottom line is, if you have breast cancer and you're treated with anthracyclines or trastuzumab, you should know they have side effects," Chen said. "And if you have symptoms of heart problems like shortness of breath or swelling in the feet or legs, seek attention quickly, preferably with doctors familiar and comfortable with treating heart failure after cancer therapy."

"Many cancer patients who develop heart failure or cardiomyopathy aren't getting the necessary medications, regardless of whether they're seen by cardiologists," he said. "So there is work to be done to improve care for all women with cardiac complications after cancer therapy."

Using 2006-11 data from Medicare's Part D drug benefit, the study found that 60 percent of patients with heart problems who saw a cardiologist received ACE inhibitors or angiotensin receptor blockers, versus 44 percent of those who didn't see a cardiologist. For beta-blockers, the figures were 40 percent versus 24 percent. Those drugs are the mainstay of treatment for heart failure, Chen said.

People with other cancers -- especially if they're older or have many other health problems -- should also be vigilant for heart symptoms if they receive anthracyclines or trastuzumab, Chen said.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by American Heart Association. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

American Heart Association. "Many breast cancer patients don't get treatment for heart problems." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 3 June 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/06/140603162128.htm>.
American Heart Association. (2014, June 3). Many breast cancer patients don't get treatment for heart problems. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 1, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/06/140603162128.htm
American Heart Association. "Many breast cancer patients don't get treatment for heart problems." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/06/140603162128.htm (accessed April 1, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Wound-Healing Laser Soon to Be a Reality Israeli Scientist

Wound-Healing Laser Soon to Be a Reality Israeli Scientist

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Apr. 1, 2015) Israeli scientists says laser bonding of tissue allows much faster healing and less scarring. Amy Pollock has more. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Liberia Sees Resurgence of Drug Trafficking as Ebola Wanes

Liberia Sees Resurgence of Drug Trafficking as Ebola Wanes

AFP (Apr. 1, 2015) The governments of Liberia and Sierra Leone have been busy fighting the menace created by the deadly Ebola virus, but illicit drug lords have taken advantage of the situation to advance the drug trade. Duration: 01:12 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Stigma Stalks India's Leprosy Sufferers as Disease Returns

Stigma Stalks India's Leprosy Sufferers as Disease Returns

AFP (Apr. 1, 2015) The Indian government declared victory over leprosy in 2005, but the disease is making a comeback in some parts of the country, with more than a hundred thousand lepers still living in colonies, shunned from society. Duration: 02:41 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
7-Year-Old Girl Gets 3-D Printed 'robohand'

7-Year-Old Girl Gets 3-D Printed 'robohand'

AP (Mar. 31, 2015) Although she never had much interest in prosthetic limbs before, Faith Lennox couldn&apos;t wait to slip on her new robohand. The 7-year-old, who lost part of her left arm when she was a baby, grabbed it as soon as it came off a 3-D printer. (March 31) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins