Cardio-OncologyProgram

Overview

Sometimes, cancer patients have a history of cardiovascular disease. Other times, cancer treatment can cause heart-related health complications. The Karen Yontz Center for Cardio-Oncology is here to address both concerns. This is especially true if you’re already at high risk for heart disease with conditions such as abnormal heart rhythm, blood clots, high blood pressure, silent coronary artery disease, heart failure and/or heart valve complications.

Using Research to Define Treatment

At Aurora, we use in-depth research to help guide our treatment approach. When understanding risk we consider a range of factors including genetic information, lifestyle behaviors and other risk factors to tailor medical decisions and treatments for individual patients.

By using pharmacogenomics, which is the study of genetic variations that give rise to different responses to drugs, we have a deeper understanding of the importance of genetic factors in drug metabolism and the differing human responses to drugs. This helps us prescribe an effective heart drug regimen to combat a particular tumor’s characteristics.

In addition, preventive measures such as early detection of heart complications associated with chemotherapy have demonstrated successful outcomes for cancer patients.

Diagnosis

Our team of cardiology and oncology providers are dedicated to caring for patients at all stages of cancer treatment who may have an increased chance for developing heart damage due to the side effect of chemotherapy or radiation.

The Karen Yontz Center for Cardio-Oncology cares for a variety of patients. Services range from a comprehensive evaluation to effective treatments for patients who:

  • Will begin or have started cancer treatment (chemotherapy and/or radiation therapy) and have risk factors for heart disease
  • Will begin or have started cancer treatment (chemotherapy and/or radiation therapy) and are being treated for heart disease
  • Received cancer treatment (chemotherapy and/or radiation therapy) in the past and may develop cardiac and circulatory problems

Using cardiovascular imaging, including 4D echocardiography and myocardial speckle imaging, our multi-disciplinary team will work to better enable early detection of heart muscle abnormality in past and current cancer patients. With early detection, treatment and preventative strategies can better be implemented.

Services & Treatment

Our dedicated cardio-oncology team works with cancer patients of all ages to discuss available treatment options, and from there, we can develop a customized treatment plan to minimize the cardio-toxic effects of cancer treatment.

We care for cancer patients during and after their treatment – monitoring for possible cardiac side effects, especially radiation, anthracyclines or other agents linked with cardiac dysfunction. We also study other possible cancer therapy complications including heart rhythm disorders, cardiomyopathy, hypertension and ischemia.

As part of your plan, we will conduct a cardiovascular disease assessment, review your medical history, and will conduct a physical exam that includes vital sign measurement, cardiac testing and more. We also do imaging tests such as echocardiograms, which measure cardiac effects of the cancer treatment.

Throughout the entire process, we’ll coordinate and collaborate with your primary care doctor and engage in follow-up visits and continued monitoring of your health.

Symptoms

Talk to your doctor if you experience any of the following symptoms during or after your treatment:

  • Weakness
  • Fatigue
  • Dizziness
  • Chest pain
  • Irregular heart beats
  • Swelling in the legs and feet

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