Cardio-Oncology is emerging field embracing a multidisciplinary approach to care for cancer patients with, or at risk for, cardiovascular disease. The Cardio-Oncology Program at Sturdy Memorial provides early identification, evaluation, and management for cancer patients and survivors who are at risk of developing cardiotoxicity as a result of cancer treatment. Traditionally, this type of program has only been available at large care centers, but Sturdy is proud to be able to offer this new level of care close to home so that you can focus on healing.
You may already be at risk of heart disease prior to your cancer diagnosis, which may put you at higher risk of experiencing cardiovascular disease after your cancer treatment. While chemotherapy helps treat cancer, it can also contribute to potential complications.
Cardiotoxicity can include:
- Heart failure
- Coronary artery disease
- Peripheral vascular disease
- Blood clots
- Valvular disease
The goal of the Cardio-Oncology Program is to reduce your risk by:
- Providing early evaluation and management for those at risk of cardiovascular disease
- Providing the best medical therapies and monitoring while receiving treatments that may cause heart disease
- Continuing to remain vigilant regarding heart health even after cancer treatments are completed
- Providing a path for the best cancer treatments to be delivered as safely as possible in order to improve care and quality of life
A care team made up of your oncologist, radiation oncologist, surgeon, primary care provider, and cardiologist will work closely together towards the common goal of maintaining the best cardiac health before, during and after treatment. This will include a risk assessment prior to treatment and constant communication to ensure you are receiving the best care possible.
At an appointment you can expect:
- To review risk associated with your specific treatment plan
- To identify your personal risk related for heart disease based on your overall health, age, and gender
- To discuss whether you would benefit from an evaluation with a cardiologist prior to starting your treatment
- To determine risk factors that can be reduced to improve your health (blood sugar control, cholesterol, diet, exercise, smoking)
As part of your evaluation and monitoring you may be asked to have additional testing such as echocardiography, MUGA, stress echo, cardiac MRI, biomarkers, and cholesterol levels.
Your cancer treatments may end, but the care we provide doesn't stop. Your oncologist will continue to work with your cardiologist and your primary care provider in order to ensure your heart health remains as strong as possible. You will be assessed for any changes and will be provided with options for management if necessary. We are committed to walking with you every step of the way on your road to recovery.