Chemo now, heart problems later?

Hey my people,

Considering the toxicity of cancer treatment, it seems like common sense that cancer survivors might be vulnerable to heart disease afterward. New research from Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center confirms the obvious: Survivors are at higher risk of cardiovascular disease than the general adult population.

What's surprising in the study is how few respondents were cautioned while undergoing cancer treatment that cardiovascular problems might follow.

The Wake Forest study surveyed 1,582 participants who had survived breast, prostate, colorectal or gynecologic cancers four to 14 years after diagnosis. Participants were asked to describe their cardiovascular disease risk factors-- smoking, body mass index, physical inactivity, hypertension, diabetes--and to report on their discussions with their health care providers about diet, exercise, smoking, and lifestyle change assistance.

Among the survivors, heart-hostile health issues turned out to be sadly common: 62 percent were overweight or obese, 55 percent reported hypertension, 20.7 percent reported diabetes, 18.1 percent were inactive, and 5.1 percent were current smokers.

Nearly a third of respondents who carry one or more risk factors reported that they had not been counseled on how to get healthier after cancer treatment.

This may be true, but I wonder whether they may have been offered more counseling than they heard. For me at least, hearing cancer mentioned in relation to myself still produces a roaring in my ears that drowns out anything factual. Especially if i'm being advised to do anything I don't want to do.

(Based on an April 17 report from RTT News)