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I had to figure out my own cardio-oncology rehabilitation program. My diagnosis of a blood cancer called multiple myeloma in early 1994 led to the standard-of-care, FDA approved, safe and effective, treatment plan for newly diagnosed myeloma patients in 1995.
I had a baseline echocardiogram before my ASCT but the cardiologist gave the “all clear.” I developed chemotherapy-induced cardiomyopathy in December of 2010. I experienced a couple of bouts with atrial fibrillation in the years preceding my diagnosis of chemo-induced cardiomyopathy but what I experienced in December of 2010 was chronic Afib aka Afib 24/7.
All to say that there was no formal cardio-oncology rehabilitation of any kind in my experience as a cancer survivor from my diagnosis in 1994 through my diagnosis of chemo-induced cardiomyopathy in 2010.
The article linked and excerpted below states what current cancer patients should do if-
“Cardio-oncology is neither the science nor the practice of treating heart tumors, rather an emerging multidisciplinary field that focuses on the cardiovascular management (prevention, diagnosis and treatment) of patients with cancer.
The core objective of the cardio-oncology discipline is to ensure that “the cancer patient of today does not become the heart patient of tomorrow…”
“The results of the CORE trial, a prospective, randomized clinical trial, showed that a cardio-oncology rehabilitation model for cancer survivors at high cardiovascular risk (or those who received cardiotoxic cancer treatments) led to greater improvements in peak oxygen consumption (peak VO2) in comparison with usual care that encompassed an exercise intervention in a community setting. Clinical rehabilitation also showed superior results in exercise compliance, cardiovascular risk factor control, quality of life, and health literacy…
In 2019, the American Heart Association recommended that cardio-oncology rehabilitation programs for cancer survivors be based on structured physical activity and on adopting healthy lifestyle habits…
The objective of the CORE trial was to assess whether a center-based cardiac rehabilitation (CBCR), in comparison with usual care that encompassed community-based exercise training (CBET), was superior for cardiorespiratory fitness improvement and cardiovascular risk factor control among cancer survivors at high cardiovascular risk…
The powered primary efficacy measure was change in peak VO2 at 2 months. Secondary outcomes included
According to the authors, “It is important to note that exercise adherence seems to have influenced the differences in peak VO2 and the lipid profile…
The trial also corroborates an already well-established paradigm in medicine: that behavioral changes made with the support of a specialized multidisciplinary team are essential to the long-term follow-up of patients with complex diseases such as cardiovascular diseases and cancer…”