Dr. Nabi Darya Vali (AIIMS)MBBS

April 03, 2023

April 03, 2023


Cancer is a serious disease. It is necessary to get its treatment done on time. Radiation therapy and chemotherapy are done for the treatment of cancer. Radiation and chemotherapy help in destroying cancer cells. This saves a person from cancer, but the treatment of cancer can affect the heart.

Click on the link given here to know the heart disease treatment.

Yes, there is a possibility of developing heart disease in people undergoing treatment for cancer. This condition is called cardiotoxicity. Heart-related problems can be seen in cancer patients having chemotherapy, medicines, and radiation therapy to the chest. Heart diseases can develop many years after cancer treatment.

Today, in this article, you will know in detail about the effects of cancer treatment on the heart -

(Read More - How Does Heart Disease Affect the Body)

Can Cancer Treatment Cause Cardiotoxicity?

Yes, cancer treatment can lead to heart disease. Some chemotherapy drugs used to treat cancer can increase the risk of heart problems. Apart from this, taking cancer pills, and radiation therapy can also cause heart problems. According to a study, 1 to 25 percent of people undergoing treatment for cancer with chemotherapy and radiotherapy may face heart failure.

(Read More - Home remedies for heart disease)

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Cardiotoxicity Symptoms

When a person develops heart disease after cancer treatment, they may experience some of the following symptoms -

(Read More - Things That Reduce Risk of Heart Disease)

Cardiotoxicity Causes

Certain types of cancer treatment can cause cardiotoxicity, the main reasons are as follows -

  • Anthracycline chemotherapy -  Anthracycline is a type of chemotherapy. This chemotherapy can cause heart disease.
  • Trastuzumab - This cancer drug is commonly used in the treatment of breast cancercolon cancer, or cancer of the gastroesophageal junction. If it is given with anthracycline medicine, then it is most likely to cause cardiomyopathy.
  • Radiation therapy - If radiation therapy is taken in the chest for the treatment of cancer, it can also lead to heart disease.

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Heart problems caused by cancer treatment

The heart can be badly affected due to cancer treatment. Because of this, the heart may have to face common serious diseases. Some of the heart-related problems caused by cancer treatment are as follows -


Chemotherapy drugs used to treat cancer weaken the heart muscle. Because of this, the heart gets damaged. In this condition, the heart becomes unable to pump blood properly. In this, the body parts do not get enough oxygen. This is called congestive heart failure.

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After the treatment of cancer, a person may also have arrhythmia disease. Because of this, a person may have a heart attack. Heart failure can happen. Not only this, but the treatment of cancer can also cause a stroke.

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Blood clots

After cancer treatment, a person may also have the problem of blood clots. Indeed, chemotherapy agents can damage the heart and blood vessels. Because of this, blood clots can be formed. Lipid problems can also arise.

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Heart swelling

Cancer treatment can also cause inflammation of the heart. Due to this, the heartbeat can be affected. The person may also have to face coronary artery disease. There may be a blockage in the blood vessels of the heart.

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Heart valve damage

After cancer treatment, the heart valves become narrow and hard. In addition, cancer treatment can cause high blood pressure and heart valve disease.

Apart from these, cancer treatment can lead to a build-up of fluid around the heart. The heart rate may slow down and the lining of the heart may thicken. So, if one is already having any heart problem, one must be in touch with the doctor.

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Cardiotoxicity Treatment

If there is any common or serious heart disease after cancer treatment, then it is necessary to get it treated on time. Taking some medicines along with a healthy diet can help in reducing heart disease. Medicines used to treat heart diseases are as follows -

  • ACE inhibitors - ACE inhibitors such as Lisinopril and Fosinopril sodium can treat heart diseases. These can help to open up the arteries and improve blood flow.
  • Beta-Blockers - Beta blockers such as Metoprolol and Atenolol can also help cure heart-related problems. Beta-blockers can increase blood flow.
  • Digoxin - Digoxin can help normalize the heart rate.
  • Vasodilators - Vasodilators such as isosorbide dinitrate help in opening or dilating the blood vessels. This improves blood flow.

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There may be a possibility of developing heart disease due to cancer treatment. Medicines used to treat cancer, chemotherapy, and radiation therapy can cause heart diseases. In people who already have heart disease, heart-related problems can increase more after cancer treatment. When a heart disease occurs after cancer treatment, it is called cardiotoxicity. In this situation, it is necessary to be in constant contact with the doctor.

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