Treatment can make breast cancer patients vulnerable to heart disease, study shows


ORLANDO, Fla. – Breast cancer patients may be at an increased risk of heart disease after undergoing the life-saving treatments to fight their cancer, and Florida Hospital recently launched a new initiative to try and minimize those effects.

According to a study published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology in 2017, up to 28 percent of women receiving chemotherapy will suffer from a weakened heart.

Hearst Foundations donated a $100,000 grant toward the new cardio-oncology plan that works with a care coordinator and state-of-the-art software to create a holistic approach to treatment.

Doctors monitor a patient’s heart function during treatment to prevent irreversible damage, and if they see a sign of cardiac decline, the multidisciplinary team will adjust the patient's treatment plan, according to Florida Health.

"We need to treat the whole person, and this new initiative strengthens our wholistic (sic) approach to healing,” said Dr. Patricia Guerrero, a cardiologist with Florida Heart Group and medical director of Florida Hospital’s women and cardiovascular disease program. “We are appreciative for the continued support the Hearst Foundations has offered to our cardiovascular program and are confident this will have a significant impact on our patients’ health.” 

The new initiative was launched at Florida Hospital locations in Orlando and Altamonte Springs. Officials expect to expand the program to Apopka and Celebration.