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CardioProtective Therapies Under Utilized in Cancer Survivors!!!

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“Cancer survivors have up to a 15-fold higher risk of developing CVD (1), and CVD is recognized as a leading cause of long-term morbidity and mortality…”

It’s not rocket science. If you’ve undergone toxic chemotherapy and/or radiation, you have an much greater risk of developing cardiovascular disease (CVD) than average people who haven’t undergone chemo and/or radiation. And you should be taking cardioprotective therapies. What cardioprotective therapies you ask? Read on…

I know this for two reasons. First, the study linked and excerpted below says this. Second, I developed blood clots (deep vein thrombosis), atrial fibrillation (Afib, AF) and Chemotherapy-induced Cardiomyopathy (CIC) all in the years following my diagnosis of cancer and induction therapy, stem cell mobilization and autologous stem cell transplant (SCT).

The more important finding of the study below is that cancer survivors don’t take cardioprotective therapies compared to those people who have not had cancer.

Cardioprotective therapies such as:

  • Antiplatelet therapies
  • Statins
  • ACE inhibitor 
  • ARB
  • Beta-blocker

I would like to suggest two ideas as to why this is- ideas based on my own experience.

When I developed my second blood clot, the doctor prescribed coumadin. I took this therapy for several months. Eventually, I told the physician that I felt tired, was gaining weight and had read about serious long-term side effects caused by Coumadin  Therefore I told my doctor that I was stopping this therapy.

The same basic series of events happened when I developed Afib and CIC in late 2010. The cardiologist prescribed metroprolol. After only a couple of days of serious shortness-of-breath, I discontinued taking this medication.

Here’s my thinking. Maybe cancer survivors don’t take preventative medications because they are sick and tired of feeling lousy because of taking medications that are supposed to help/cure/heal, (choose one) them. I know I sure felt this way.

Because I knew that I had CVD due to past chemo and therefore I lived with several associated heart problems, I researched and created a therapy plan of evidence-based but NON-TOXIC heart healthy therapies that I was going to take instead of the conventional, FDA approved, safe and effective, medications.

Heart-healthy:

  • Nutrition,
  • Supplementation,
  • Exercise,
  • Lifestyle therapies

If you are curious to see how my Afib, CIC etc. is doing, please scroll below. I have linked results from the past five echocardiograms. In short, my heart problems have either stabilized or improved.

For the record, I agree that self-treatment for any and all serious health problems is dangerous. I will be direct. It was conventional, FDA approved, “safe and effective” therapies that caused all my health problems in the first place so I’m going out on my own now.

Are you a cancer survivor? To learn more about evidence-based,  non-toxic, non-conventional heart therapies scroll down the page, post a question or a comment and I will reply to you ASAP.

Hang in there,

David Emerson

  • Cancer Survivor
  • Cancer Coach
  • Director PeopleBeatingCancer

Recommended Reading:


Suboptimal Use of Cardioprotective Medications in Patients With a History of Cancer

“Rates of cardiovascular diseases (CVD) and risk factors are increased in cancer patients and survivors compared with the general population, and CVD has emerged as a leading cause of long-term morbidity and mortality in this population (1)…

In multivariable analysis, adjusted for age, sex, BMI, hypertension, dyslipidemia, smoking status, diabetes mellitus, and CVD, patients with Cancer History were less likely to be on a statin or antiplatelet therapies…

We also evaluated prescription of cardioprotective medications at the time of admission. In multivariable models (adjusted for the same confounders as detailed previously), prescriptions of antiplatelet agents and statins were similarly lower in patients with Cancer History…

These results suggest that management of modifiable cardiovascular risk factors in patients with cancer is suboptimal compared with those without a history of cancer.

Cancer survivors have up to a 15-fold higher risk of developing CVD (1), and CVD is recognized as a leading cause of long-term morbidity and mortality…


Echocardiogram Results from 2015-2021

  • BP. 
  • left ventricle systolic function EF
  • left atrium
  • right atrium
  • Aortic root-
  • Ascending Aorta

All have improved-

  • 6/2021 BP- 109 /65 mmHg
  • 2/2020 BP  –109 /65 mmHg
  • 10/2018- BP  -126 /82 mmHg
  • 9/2016-  BP  –125 /80 mmHg
  • 10/2015-BP   –114 /69 mmHg

6/2021 Left Ventricle: The left ventricular systolic function is low normal, with an estimated ejection fraction of 50-55%.

2/2020- Left Ventricle: The left ventricular systolic function is low normal, with an estimated ejection fraction of 50-55%.

10/2018- Left Ventricle: The left ventricular systolic function is mildly decreased,  ejection fraction of 40-45%.

9/2016- Left Ventricle: The left ventricular systolic function is mildly to moderately decreased, with an estimated ejection fraction of 40-45%.

10/2015-The left ventricular systolic function is mildly decreased, with an estimated ejection fraction of 40-45%.


  • 6/2021 Left Atrium: The left atrium is normal in size.
  •  6/2021 Right atrium is upper limits of normal in size
  • 2/2020- Left Atrium: The left atrium is severely dilated.
  • 2/2020- Right Atrium: The right atrium is moderately dilated.
  • 10/2018- Left Atrium: The left atrium is severely dilated.
  • 10/2018- Right Atrium: The right atrium is mildly dilated
  • 9/2016- Left Atrium: The left atrium is moderate to severely dilated.
  •  9/2016 – Right Atrium: The right atrium is mildly dilated
  • 10/2015- Left Atrium: The left atrium is mildly dilated
  •  10/2015    The right atrium is normal in size.

  • 6/2021- Ao Root d:   5.10 cm
  •  6/2021- Asc Ao, d: 4.60 cm

——–

  • 2/2020- Ao Root-?
  • 2/2020-Asc Ao, d:   4.60 cm 

——–

  • 10/2018- Ao Root: 4.40 cm
  • 10/2018-Asc Ao, d: 4.60 cm

——–

  • 09/2016- Ao Root-  4.3 cm
  • 09/2016 – Asc Ao-   4.9 cm

——————

  • 10/2015- Ao Root: 5.30 cm 
  • 10/2015– Asc Ao-  4.80 cm 

2/2020 The aortic root is abnormal. There is moderate dilatation of the ascending aorta. There is severe dilatation of the aortic root.

10/2018- The aortic root is abnormal. There is moderate dilatation of the ascending aorta. There is moderate dilatation the aortic root.

09/2016- The aortic root is abnormal. There is moderate dilatation of the ascending aorta. There is severe dilatation of the aortic root.

10/2015- The aortic root is abnormal. There is moderate dilatation of the ascending aorta. There is severe dilatation of the aortic root. Maximal diameter of aortic root is 5.3 cm

 

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