Health In Focus
  • The German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ) in Heidelberg evaluated data from nearly 3,50,000 patients from US cancer registries.
  • Cancer-related side effects leading to heart disease can be prevented efficiently by monitoring early and treating in cardio-oncology intensive care units.
  • Patients can be at ease, and need not worry about heart-related illnesses, while undergoing treatment for breast cancer.

Breast cancer caused by a genetic abnormality usually refers to an uncontrolled growth of breast cells, when ignored, these cancer causing cells can spread to other parts of the body. Breast cancer is found to be the most commonly diagnosed cancer in the U.S among women apart from skin cancer. The death rates due to breast cancer were higher when compared with other types of cancer. It has been estimated that 1 in 8 women in the U.S will be affected by breast cancer in their lifetime and nearly 40,920 women affected by breast cancer are expected to die in 2018 alone.

No More Cardiac Deaths In Patients Undergoing Breast Cancer Therapy

Patients who currently undergo treatment for breast cancer are at the risk of developing heart disease over time, leading to high death rates.
Breast Cancer Patients Can Reduce The Rate Of Associated Heart Disease

Heart disease is a side effect of the cancer therapy. However, this has been challenged by Brenner's team from The German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ) who conducted a study from the data obtained from nearly 3,50,000 patients from the U.S cancer registries. The study involved the cases of women from 2000 to 2011 who were diagnosed with breast cancer and treated either with chemotherapy or radiotherapy. The results were compared with the data from the average women population in the U.S

Study results from the Brenner's team were really surprising as it created a positive outlook of life in women who undergo treatment for their breast cancers. The side effects caused to the heart can be managed well by the special cardio-oncology units in the hospitals by undertaking certain precautionary measures. These measures include facilitating the treatment methodologies just by considering the individual risk of heart disease in breast cancer patients.

Screening was done at very short intervals regularly to detect the side effects on the heart. If signs of heart disease were found, treating with appropriate drugs in a tertiary care setting, followed-up by necessary adjustments in the breast cancer therapy can be considered.

The benefit-risk ratio was found to be good throughout the study as it came out with positive health outcomes, if the patients are treated with good medical care. Therefore, the study results strongly suggest that women with breast cancer need not be worried about the deadly heart disease. There were similar results with the women at the same age without the history of breast cancer.

What are the symptoms and signs of breast cancer?

  • Presence of lumps in the breast
  • Tenderness of the nipples
  • Swelling or shrinkage of the breast
  • Changes to the texture of the skin
  • Nipple discharge
  • Asymmetry of the breasts
  • Red or scaly breast
  • Pain in the breast
  • Irritation of the breast skin

How can breast cancer be diagnosed?

Imaging tests
  • Mammography
  • Ultrasound of the breast tissue
  • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
  • Fine needle aspiration biopsy
  • Surgical biopsy
  • Image-guided biopsy
  • Core needle biopsy
  • Lymph node biopsy
Gene tests
  • Breast cancer index
  • Oncotype Dx
  • PAM50
  • MammaPrint
Blood tests
  • Complete blood count
  • Liver and kidney function test
References :
  1. What Is Breast Cancer? - (
  2. Breast Cancer Symptoms and Signs - (
Source: Medindia

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