Cancer Treatments Are Now Less Likely To Lead To Heart Disease

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Cancer Treatments Are Now Less Likely To Lead To Heart Disease
Cancer Treatments Are Now Less Likely To Lead To Heart Disease

Video: Cancer Treatments Are Now Less Likely To Lead To Heart Disease

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Cancer treatments are now less likely to lead to heart disease

Scientists have found that in recent years, people who recovered from childhood cancers are much less likely to develop complications from the cardiovascular system compared to the 1970s. This indicates that efforts to reduce the side effects of cancer therapy have met with significant success.

Cancer treatments are now less likely to lead to heart disease
Cancer treatments are now less likely to lead to heart disease

Photo: Lee Health / Vimeo /

Scientists have found that in recent years, people who recovered from childhood cancers are much less likely to develop complications from the cardiovascular system compared to the 1970s. This indicates that efforts to reduce the side effects of cancer therapy have met with significant success. Scientists talked about this in The BMJ magazine.

Many people who are cured of cancer during childhood are at risk of early death from diseases that are associated with cancer therapy. In particular, they are more likely to develop diseases of the heart and blood vessels.

In recent years, doctors have focused on making cancer treatments less dangerous and reducing the number of side effects. But how these efforts affected the heart health of patients has been poorly understood until recently.

In the new study, the researchers enrolled more than 23,000 patients who had previously participated in the Childhood Cancer Survivor Study. This study involved adults who had previously received treatment for the most common types of pediatric malignancies.

Scientists used questionnaires to find out how often former cancer patients suffered from heart failure, coronary heart disease, heart defects, diseases of the pericardium (the outer lining of the heart) and arrhythmias. They also took into account risk factors for cardiovascular diseases: diabetes mellitus, hypertension, smoking, blood cholesterol levels, weight, and physical activity.

The number of patients who have received heart-hazardous chemotherapy has increased in recent decades compared to the 1970s, but many of them have received lower doses of these drugs. In addition, the number of patients who receive radiation therapy that affects the heart has dropped from 77% in the 1970s to 40% in the 1990s.

According to scientists' calculations, the risk of coronary heart disease in patients who received treatment for cancer in childhood decreased from 0.38% in the 1970s to 0.24% in the 1980s and to 0.19% in the 1990s. … This was primarily due to the patients who were treated for Hodgkin's disease.

The authors also found a reduced risk of developing heart defects in patients who were treated for cancer in the 1990s. But the risk of other cardiovascular diseases remained the same.

The main conclusion of the study, the scientists believe, is that the reduction in the use of radiotherapy for the treatment of Hodgkin's disease and some other tumors has led to a decrease in the incidence of coronary heart disease.

"These results suggest that a change in cancer therapy for children and patient follow-up has begun to gradually demonstrate benefits not only for overall survival, but also for late cardiac side effects," the study authors report.

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