Study Finds Cancer Survivors are at Higher Risk for Heart Failure

March 07, 2018 05:47 PM

(ABC 6 News)--A new study out of Mayo Clinic has found breast cancer and lymphoma survivors are at a higher risk of heart failure. The study found patients who were treated for these two types of cancer are more than three times likely to develop congestive heart failure.

"This can't be happening to me,” said Cheri Krejci.


After losing both parents to cancer, Krejci was in disbelief when she felt the lump in her right breast in 2009.

"I had just had a mammogram in September of that year," she said.

Three months later Krejci was diagnosed with stage one breast cancer. She underwent a double mastectomy and started chemotherapy.

The study found seven out of 100 breast cancer and lymphoma survivors, that used a chemo drug called anthracycline, had issues with their heart.

Krejci believes she used the same type of chemo used in the study.

"There is that risk then of heart issues, but I’m so glad they found that so myself and so many other people can be watchful of it, our doctors can be watchful of it," she said.

Dr. Hector Villarraga, a Mayo Clinic Cardiologist and senior author of the study said the research will help doctors monitor patients for heart damage, during and after chemotherapy.

"We can also look at special things inside the muscle that we've been exploring that can tell me; hey this heart could be damaged in the future. So we detect that and that's working with our oncologist. We can start the patient on cardio prevention or cardioprotection," Villarraga said.

As for Krejci who still visits with her oncologist, “I will definitely at my next appointment be talking further with my doctor about that."


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