top of page

Cancer and the Heart: How Cancer Impacts Your Heart Health

Updated: Nov 12, 2023

Cancer treatments can significantly impact the heart, from the stress of therapies to the side effects of medication. While treatments have come a long way in recent years, they can still take a toll on heart health. This article will discuss the current research on cancer and heart health.

There will be an exploration of how cancer therapy impacts the heart and other notable treatment options that people must undergo to rid themselves of cancer. There will also be an exploration into how heart disease can impact cancer and cause it to progress. But first, let's discuss how cancer therapies can affect your heart.

How Your Heart is Impacted by Cancer Therapies and Treatments

Cancer therapies and treatments can have a significant impact on your heart. Cancer has a high risk of associated cardiac toxicity, especially with specific treatment options. Some treatments, such as chemotherapy, can damage the heart muscle and cause heart failure.

Other treatments, such as radiation therapy, can damage the blood vessels and lead to heart disease. In addition, some cancer treatments can increase the risk of developing blood clots, which can lead to a heart attack or stroke.

The Impact of Cancer Hormonal and Targeted Medication Therapies

Hormonal cancer medication therapies can significantly impact the heart and blood vessels. These therapies can help to shrink tumors, but they can also cause side effects that can be dangerous to the heart. The most common side effects include high blood pressure, irregular heartbeat, and fluid retention. These side effects can lead to heart attacks, strokes, and other serious cardiovascular problems.

Targeted medication cancer therapies are a type of cancer treatment that uses drugs or other substances to target cancer cells and kill them. While targeted medication cancer therapies can effectively treat cancer, they can also impact heart health. In some cases, targeted medication cancer therapies can cause heart problems such as heart failure or arrhythmias.

In other cases, the side effects of targeted medication cancer therapies can worsen existing heart conditions. Therefore, it is essential for people receiving targeted medication cancer therapies to be closely monitored by their healthcare team for any potential heart problems.

Why This Matters for Those with Heart Disease

The link between cancer and heart disease is well-established, with cancer patients at a higher risk for developing heart disease and vice versa. Even those with hypertension have an 11% higher risk of developing colorectal cancer. This is due to several factors. Cancer and heart disease share many risk factors (such as obesity, smoking, and a sedentary lifestyle), and cancer treatments can often damage the heart.

The human body is a fantastic machine constantly working to keep itself healthy. However, sometimes things can go wrong. Knowing the warning signs of these diseases can help people be proactive with their health and get the treatment they need before it's too late. By understanding the impact of these diseases, people can make better decisions and work on their heart health so that they may live long healthy lives.


bottom of page