Question: Can breast cancer radiation damage the heart?

Can left breast radiation cause heart problems?

Years ago, researchers discovered that many patients who underwent radiation therapy to the left breast later developed heart conditions, including pericardial disease, conduction abnormalities, coronary artery disease, congestive heart disease, heart valve disease and even sudden cardiac death.

Can radiation damage the heart?

Radiation therapy can cause heart attack, heart failure, and arrhythmias. Traditional and novel chemotherapy agents can damage the heart or peripheral blood vessels, or cause problems with clotting or blood lipids.

Can breast cancer affect the heart?

Or cancer can begin elsewhere in the body and spread to the heart through the bloodstream. Cancers that may affect the heart include lung cancer, breast cancer, esophageal cancer, kidney cancer, leukemia, lymphoma and melanoma, among others.

How do you protect your heart from breast radiation?

Deep Inspiratory Breath Hold (DIBH) where the patient inhales, moving the chest wall away from the heart while the radiation beam is on. Both techniques can reduce the amount of radiation received by the heart muscle and coronary arteries and I recommend women discuss these options with their radiation oncologist.

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How safe is left breast radiation?

“Women who’ve had radiation, in particular to the left breast, have a potentially higher rate of cardiac complications down the road,” explained Dr. Shah, who added that heart-sparing radiation techniques can reduce the doses of radiation that reach the heart by 50 to 75 percent below the national standard.

Can you take a break from radiation?

It’s best to continue your treatment without interruption. But an occasional short-term break of a day or two off from treatment is unlikely to reduce the effectiveness of radiation therapy. So if you need to take a short break, let your doctor know and get back on schedule as soon as possible.

Can radiation cause fluid around the heart?

Radiation-induced pericardial disease is one of the most common and also the earliest manifestation of radiation-induced heart disease to occur following irradiation of the heart. It could be presented as acute pericarditis, pericardial effusion, delayed thickening and constrictive pericarditis.

Does radiation increase blood pressure?

Prolonged exposure to low-dose radiation may increase the risk of hypertension, a known cause of heart disease and stroke. Study Highlights: A long-term study of Russian nuclear plant workers suggests that prolonged low-dose radiation exposure increases the risk of hypertension.

How do you feel when you have breast cancer?

Breast cancer can have different symptoms for different people. Most don’t notice any signs at all. The most common symptom is a lump in your breast or armpit. Others include skin changes, pain, a nipple that pulls inward, and unusual discharge from your nipple.

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How long can you live with untreated breast cancer?

Median survival time of the 250 patients followed to death was 2.7 years. Actuarial 5- and 10-year survival rates for these patients with untreated breast cancer was 18.4% and 3.6%, respectively. For the amalgamated 1,022 patients, median survival time was 2.3 years.

Can radiation cause blocked arteries?

Radiation-induced heart disease can manifest as pathology of the epicardial and endocardial coronary vessels resulting in coronary obstruction, semilunar and atrioventricular valves resulting in stenosis or regurgitation due to valvular fibrosis, myocardium with resultant cardiomyopathy, and conduction system and …

Can radiation cause lung problems?

Treatments for cancer, including some types of chemotherapy and radiation therapy, can cause lung problems. The risk of developing lung problems is greater if both chemotherapy and radiation therapy were used to treat the cancer. Lung damage is often related to the dose of the drugs or radiation used.

How can I protect my heart from chemo?

Stay healthy after treatment

  1. Get to and stay at a healthy weight.
  2. Get regular exercise.
  3. Eat a healthy diet, with an emphasis on fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.
  4. Get recommended cancer screenings.
  5. Create a survivorship care plan.
  6. Keep your follow-up appointments.
  7. Take care of your emotional health.