Cancer Patients May Receive Less Good Cardiac Care

Hester Hill Schnipper, LICSW, OSW-C Program Manager, Oncology Social Work

SEPTEMBER 25, 2017

Keep in mind that this is a short summary of an article from the European Heart Journal, but it is very distressing. The suggestion is that people with a history of cancer may receive less good care for heart attacks and have a higher death rate from those incidents. The study is from Switzerland and admits that little is known about the duo of a cancer history and an acute MI.

We have known that some drugs used in cancer treatment (both chemotherapies and some targeted therapies like Herceptin) may damage cardiac function. We have known that radiation sometimes hits a portion of the heart, and that may cause later trouble. But this is bigger and broader and, to me, scarier than those facts. What is this about? What does it mean? Are cancer survivors offered less? Have their bodies been changed/hurt by the cancer therapy in ways that have not been understood?

Here is the report from UPI:

Cancer history impacts treatment for heart attack patients

by Amy Wallace

-- Research shows treatment and outcomes for heart attack patients can depend on if they have a history of cancer diagnosis. 
A study, published Tuesday in the European Heart Journal: Acute Cardiovascular Care, of 35,249 heart attack patients found that they were less likely to receive recommended drugs and interventions and are at an increased risk of dying in the hospital if they had cancer compared to those who have not. 
"It is well known that cancer patients may have an increased risk of cardiovascular disease as a result of their treatment," Dr. Dragana Radovanovic, head of the AMIS Plus Data Centre in Zurich, Switzerland, said in a press release. "However, on the other hand, little is known about the treatment and outcomes of cancer patients who have an acute myocardial infarction." 
The study followed patients enrolled in the acute myocardial infarction in Switzerland, or AMIS Plus, registry from 2002 to 2015, and found that 1,981 of those patients also had a history of cancer.

Read more:

And here is the link to another article about this from MedPage:

Above content provided by Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. For advice about your medical care, consult your doctor.
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