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Healing Chemo-Induced Heart Disease

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Can cardio-toxic chemotherapy cause atrial fibrillation, ischemic heart disease, valvular heart disease, hypertension (high blood pressure), hyperlipidemia  and diabetes???

Deja Vu all over again. I developed chemotherapy-induced cardiomyopathy (heart disease) and atrial fibrillation late 2010. The article linked below talks about the cardio-toxicity of chemotherapy as if it is something new. I believe the reason why cardio-oncology is “exploding” is simply because there are more cancer survivors living with heart failure. More cancer survivors are dying due to chemotherapy prescribed months or years previously.

Imagine achieving complete remission aka becoming cancer-free only to develop serious life threatening side effects one after another. For years…

Is it an oxymoron to call cardio-toxic chemotherapy “lifesaving?” You know, like  jumbo shrimp?

Further, the article is able to spin chemotherapy-induced

is if oncology should be congratulated for discovering that FDA approved “safe and effective” therapies are, in fact, life threatening…

Does anyone reading this post wonder if the relationship between risk factors such as

  • hypertension (high blood pressure),
  • hyperlipidemia  and
  • diabetes

result from cardio-toxic chemotherapy?

And, as in other chemotherapy-induced side effects such as a deep vein thrombosis or chemobrain, conventional oncology raises the prospect of genetic pre-disposition to heart disease and/or cancer. As if to say that cardio-toxic therapies are not really the cause…

The key issue for cancer patients and survivors to understand is that oncology does not understand how certain chemotherapy regimens cause heart failure. This is to say that cancer patients and survivors are on their own.

To a long-term survivor of an incurable blood cancer, my view is that conventional oncology is a key component of the lives of cancer survivors living with chemotherapy-induced heart failure. But only a component.

I began life as a cancer patient by completely relying on my oncologist. Big mistake. I had to “fail” conventional therapies over and over again before I began to think outside the conventional oncology box.

Now I rely on oncology for information in general,  not for solutions to my health challenges.

I’m not saying that I have all the answers.  I’ve learned that oncology does not have all the answers and that I can’t rely on my oncologist or my cardiologist for the answers.

Through research and experience I have been able to improve my heart failure without the use of toxic therapies such as beta blockers, ACE inhibitors, etc. There is a great deal of research that focuses on non-toxic therapies such as

  • exercise,
  • supplements such as CoQ10, Omega-3 fatty acids
  • lifestyle therapies such as WBH and
  • nutrition

to improve heart health.

To Learn More about Non-conventional Heart Therapies- click now

Are you a cancer survivor living with one or more chemotherapy-induced side effects? Please scroll down the page, post a question or comment and I will reply to you ASAP.

Hang in there,

David Emerson

  • MM Survivor
  • MM Cancer Coach
  • Director PeopleBeatingCancer

Recommended Reading:

Cardio-oncology explosion: Increasing awareness, collaboration, research

“The cardio-oncology subspecialty has exploded in recent years, with the launch of dedicated cardio-oncology centers, entire conferences focusing on this area and new research, as awareness of cardiotoxicities associated with cancer treatment has increased

The role of the cardiologist comes into play as patients who have undergone lifesaving treatment with cancer therapies such as anthracyclines, trastuzumab (Herceptin) and immune checkpoint inhibitors often develop cardiotoxicity and other forms of CVD

Hence, the so-called attempt at ‘cardioprotection’ against the cardiovascular effects of chemotherapeutics is a wide playing field with rules we are just beginning to understand…

“A few years ago, the focus in cardio-oncology was predominately heart failure and imaging,” Fradley said. “While those still exist, the field of cardio-oncology has broadened substantially and now encompasses the entire range of cardiovascular diseases — from ischemic heart disease to arrhythmias to valvular heart disease — and these play an increasingly important role in both the clinical and research domains of cardio-oncology…”

“A current emphasis in cardio-oncology clinical care and research is in understanding and preventing CVD and also in controlling common CV risk factors such as

  • hypertension,
  • hyperlipidemia and
  • diabetes

in survivors of cancer. This is in part because the relationship between CV risk factors and the development of CVD and the mortality associated with CVD is greater in cancer survivors than noncancer comparators…”

Genetic risk factors may predispose patients to both cancer and heart disease…

The cardio-oncology focus will be to increase inclusion of cardiovascular endpoints in clinical trials.”

Future research-

Knowledge gaps remain on the basic mechanisms behind the association.

“We still do not understand why certain drugs cause toxicities,” Ky said. “It may be very well multifactorial, but we still do not have a full understanding.”

Ky’s ongoing research program at Penn focuses on “deep CV phenotyping”—understanding the cardiotoxic effects of cancer therapy through biomarkers, imaging measures and clinical tools, and also in developing prediction models to identify patients at increased risk for cardiotoxicity…

MRI scans unnecessary to diagnose heart failure, new study suggests

“A new study from University of Alberta cardiac researchers casts doubt on the standard practice of using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to help diagnose the causes of heart failure not related to a heart attack

“As far as we could tell, the routine MRIs didn’t add any value to the diagnosis,” said Ian Paterson, a professor of medicine and the study’s principal investigator.

“While there may be some specific heart-failure conditions where MRI might be helpful in diagnosis, in the vast majority of cases, it appears that patients wouldn’t really benefit from it…”

“I think a lot of doctors feel that since the MRI provides a lot of high-quality information, it must be an advantage,” he said. “But doctors are also getting a lot of useful information from other baseline testing, including a proper history, the physical examination and the echocardiogram.

“Our study shows that’s usually good enough in most cases.”

Possible health care savings

Although the results showed that routine cardiac MRIs were not valuable as diagnostic tools, Paterson noted the test may still play an important role as a prognosis tool, including helping determine what treatments might be the most effective for the patient…”










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