The program was launched in response to clinical data that indicate that standard chemotherapeutic drugs and newly developed agents for cancer treatment can have cardiac side effects. Drugs such as doxorubicin and trastuzmab, which are very effective in the treatment of breast cancer and other cancers, can have cardio-toxic side effects that can affect the pumping function of the heart. In addition, a variety of new drugs that are very effective in treating cancer can have other effects on the cardiovascular system.
Led by cardiologists with expertise in cardiac imaging, cardio-oncology team members work closely with Smilow oncologists to ensure patients can continue essential cancer treatment while maximizing the protection of their hearts.
The cardio-oncology team evaluates patients prior to receiving chemotherapy in order to assess their risk of developing heart problems and to create treatment plans to help protect their hearts. The team also assesses and treats patients who have developed heart complications related either to their underlying cancer or their cancer therapy. In addition, the cardio-oncology team works with Smilow oncologists to care for patients with pre-existing heart disease and cancer. Patients with any type of cancer are seen in the cardio-oncology clinic and cancer survivors can come to the cardio-oncology clinic to evaluate their heart health.
Conditions that we evaluate and treat include:
- Heart failure caused by chemotherapy
- Arrhythmias such as atrial fibrillation and other tachycardias
- Chest pain
- Pericardial effusions
- Blood clots associated with indwelling catheters
- Pre-existing heart disease such as coronary artery disease, valvular disease, congestive heart failure
The cardio-oncology team sees patients in the Multispecialty Clinic on the 7th floor of Smilow Cancer Hospital and Smilow Cancer Center North Haven.