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Breast Cancer Radiation Has Long-Term Heart Effects: Study
Date:3/14/2013

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Taylor's team did not look at all types of heart problems, Moslehi said. Radiation therapy has been linked with other cardiac problems, including heart rhythm issues and valve problems.

In addition, he said, some chemotherapy has been linked with heart risks.

Until more research is in, Moslehi said women should be sure their primary-care doctor knows if they had radiation therapy for breast cancer. The doctor should also evaluate other cardiac risk factors, such as high blood pressure and cholesterol, he added.

Study author Taylor said cardiologists and oncologists have been communicating more in recent years.

Women should not only get help from their doctors to reduce their heart disease risk, she said, but pay attention to heart-healthy habits. They should eat a healthy diet, exercise regularly and not smoke cigarettes, she said.

More information

To learn more about radiation therapy for breast cancer, visit the American Cancer Society.

SOURCES: Carolyn Taylor, D.Phil., consultant clinical oncologist, Clinical Trial Service Unit, University of Oxford, England; Javid Moslehi, M.D., co-director, cardio-oncology program, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Brigham and Women's Hospital, and instructor of medicine, Harvard Medical School, Boston; March 14, 2013, New England Journal of Medicine


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