Chemotherapy can cause heart damage. That much is know. The two main challenges faced by breast cancer patients are to identify which chemotherapy regimens cause heart damage and how to prevent or reduce this awful side effect when undergoing those chemotherapy regimens.
According to the article linked and excerpted below, exercise DURING adjuvant chemotherapy for breast cancer helped women feel better during chemo, helped women undergo the full course of therapy, helped women get back to work faster and helped women just plain feel better and more motivated after chemotherapy.
I am a long-term cancer survivor (myeloma not breast cancer). My induction chemotherapy did a number on my heart. I live with chronic atrial fibrillation.
I will be direct. Exercise DURING chemotherapy can be difficult. But Herceptin damages the heart. And the damage can be late stage (occur years after treatment). If you are stage II or stage III, please exercise and eat well during chemo. You will be glad you did.
I am also a cancer coach. Toxic therapies may be necessary however understand that there are evidence-based, non-toxic therapies such as exercise to reduce or eliminate negative side effects of chemotherapy and radiation.
For more information about actionable therapies to reduce the risk of relapse and/or reduce or prevent collateral damage, scroll down the page, ask a question and I will reply ASAP.
“A supervised, moderate to high-intensity exercise program in breast cancer patients helped stave off expected declines in fitness and function during adjuvant chemotherapy and improved treatment tolerance, according to randomized trial results…
Most participants had stage II or III breast cancer. Approximately 75% of study participants underwent breast-conserving surgery and approximately the same number received radiotherapy.
“Interestingly, only 6% of patients in the OnTrack exercise program required delay or discontinuation of trastuzumab (Herceptin) because of reduced left ventricular ejection fraction compared with 28% in the usual care group (OR 0.16, 95% CI 0.02-1.57) and 24% in the Onco-Move program (OR 0.20, 95% CI 0.02-1.91).”
“A small study has found that after 3 months of Herceptin treatment, nearly 58% of women had some loss of heart function… The results suggest that heart problems caused by Herceptin are more common and may happen earlier than many doctors think…
“Heart disease and cancer are the top two leading causes of death in the United States — and a new paper highlights how these major health concerns can intertwine.