Cancer treatment can bring about another serious medical problem — heart disease. It’s an emerging health concern that has led The Christ Hospital, Cincinnati’s Heart Hospital, to develop a new strategy to provide specialized heart care to cancer patients before, during and after treatment.
Cancer treatments developed to destroy cancer cells can also produce toxins that decrease heart function or cause heart damage in the long term. The issue is known as “cardiotoxicity”— a concerning complication of cancer chemotherapy and in some cases, cancer chemoprevention.
The new Cardio-Oncology Program is led by clinical cardiologist Tom Murtaugh, MD, MBA, FACC, who a member of the International CardioOncology Society and works in collaboration with cardiologists Santosh Menon, MD and George Blake, MD, along with a skilled team of clinicians.
“Our clinic works hard to make sure that cancer treatment is never delayed because of a heart problem. We recommend treatments and modifications to support longevity and healthy living,” said Dr. Murtaugh.
The program combines expert, state-of-the-art cardiac imaging with best practices for early diagnosis, prevention and treatment of heart problems associated with cancer therapy. In addition, the program is a new resource for cancer survivors—who tend to be at higher risk for developing cardiovascular disease and heart valve disease due to their cancer treatment. The biggest cause of late death for survivors is typically cardiac related, a statistic this new program is aiming to reduce.
“The cardiotoxic effects of cancer treatments range from minimal to very serious and depend on many factors including age, family history and type of cancer treatment,” said Santosh Menon, MD. “Some treatments can decrease the heart's pumping ability, which can lead to heart failure. Our program’s focus on early detection and ongoing monitoring is critical in managing the risks and effects of cardiotoxicity.”
The Cardio-Oncology program is available in many Christ Hospital – Ohio Heart & Vascular locations throughout the Tristate. Cancer patients and survivors should talk to their physician about heart disease risks and the option of additional heart monitoring. For more information, visit TheChristHospital.com/Heart or call the Cardio-Oncology Nurse Navigator, at 513-985-0022.
About The Christ Hospital Health Network: The Christ Hospital Health Network is an acute care hospital located in Mt. Auburn with six ambulatory centers and dozens of offices conveniently located throughout the region. The Network is supported by more than 1200 talented physicians and 5800 dedicated employees. Its mission is to improve the health of the community and to create patient value by providing exceptional outcomes, the finest experiences all in an affordable way. They have been recognized by Forbes Magazine as the 24th best large employer in the nation in their America’s 500 Best Large Employers listing and by National Consumer Research as the region’s Most Preferred Hospital for 21 consecutive years. The Network is dedicated to transforming care by delivering integrated, personalized healthcare through its comprehensive, multi-specialty physician network. The Christ Hospital is among only 6% of hospitals in the nation to be awarded Magnet recognition for nursing excellence and among the top 5% of hospitals in the country for patient satisfaction. For more than 125 years, The Christ Hospital has provided compassionate care to those it serves.