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Presentation at Annual Meeting Highlights Increased Risk of Heart Failure in Childhood Cancer Survivors
Date:9/15/2009

BOSTON, Sept. 15 /PRNewswire/ -- The 13th Annual Scientific Meeting of the Heart Failure Society of America (HFSA) today featured a discussion titled "Cardiovascular Disease in Survivors of Childhood Cancer" presented by Dr. Ming Hui Chen, Director, Stress Echocardiography Program and Program for Cardiac Health in Cancer Survivors, Children's Hospital Boston. Dr. Chen's presentation highlights the increased risk of heart failure among childhood cancer survivors due to cancer treatments, highlighting the need for patient-physician education and counseling to monitor and help prevent heart disease.

Heart failure can be difficult to detect and diagnose in adult survivors of childhood cancers since patients may not fit the typical demographic profile of heart failure patients. Childhood cancer survivors are likely to present with heart failure symptoms earlier in their adult life. Females, African-Americans and those that received both radiation and anti-cancer therapy are at greatest risk. Specific side effects of treatment and diseases are dependent upon the type of cancer treatment patients receive.

"It is critical for the public to become aware that there are populations at risk for heart failure outside of the traditional demographic," said Dr. Douglas Mann, HFSA President. "Physical exams and follow up care is important in ensuring disease prevention in these non-traditional groups."

"It takes decades for side effects to occur after cancer treatment, therefore making it harder for physicians to recognize the association between cancer treatment and heart failure," said Dr. Chen. Doctors specializing in late-effects recommend childhood cancer survivors take several preventative measures against heart disease, such as receiving regular screening for several decades after completing cancer therapy as the risk of cardiovascular disease increases with longer follow up, keeping
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SOURCE The Heart Failure Society of America
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