Long-Term Cardiac and Pulmonary Complications of Cancer Therapy

Department of Radiation Oncology, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, 1275 York Avenue, New York, NY 10021, USA.
Heart Failure Clinics (Impact Factor: 1.84). 07/2011; 7(3):403-11. DOI: 10.1016/j.hfc.2011.04.002
Source: PubMed


Cardiac complications resulting from chemotherapy and radiation pose a significant risk for morbidity and mortality to the cancer survivor. Cardiac side effects may progress over time and are a concern for patients treated during childhood. Long-term pulmonary complications are relatively infrequent, and acute respiratory effects of drugs (mostly bleomycin) or radiation normally resolve early after therapy. Although most cardiovascular risk statistics and clinical experience are derived from patients treated before 1985, the modern radiation approach that limits the exposure of the heart and reduces the total dose seems to attenuate the previously observed cardiovascular risk. Potential preventive measures for high-risk patients are of increasing interest but remain experimental.

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