There are about 3 million cancer patients who can now declare the battle won. But in the face of victory over disease, the price to pay for heart health is certainly high.
A recent study conducted on the causes of death of 1,807 cancer survivors, over a 7-year follow-up, found that 33% died of heart disease.
There chemotherapy, biological therapies and radiotherapy they can, in fact, provoke complications in the short and long term, and favor the development of a series of side effects in patients cardiovascular: heart failure, myocardial infarction, thromboembolism, arrhythmias, hypertension.
The numbers speak for themselves: a patient out of three dies because of heart disease caused give her pharmacological or radiotherapy treatments following the cancer.
“An increasing number of people are diagnosed with cancer with cardiovascular risk factors (hypercholesterolemia, dyslipidemia, diabetes, arterial hypertension) or silent heart disease – explains Nicola Maurea, Director of the Complex Structure of Cardiology at the Pascale Foundation in Naples -. And while everyone is focused on eliminating cancer, these problems are either not recognized or not adequately treated ”.
It is in the face of these numbers that the specialists, gathered during the International Workshop on Cardioncology in Naples, presented the rules that fall by right into the ideal anticancer therapy.
The cardioncological decalogue:
- Control your weight, prevent it from increasing under the influence of therapies or reducing it in case of overweight / obesity: stay on your own ideal weight it is essential to lower the risk of cardiovascular disease and reduce that of recurrence.
- Adopt one active lifestyle getting used to using your body whenever possible, for example by walking or cycling and avoiding elevators and escalators whenever possible.
- Practice physical / sporting activity regularly 2-3 times a week: it is a “cure” that counteracts the side effects of therapies and significantly reduces both the cardiovascular risk and the risk of tumor recurrence.
- Reduce or abolish the cigarette smoke.
- Reduce or abolish the consumption of alcohol.
- It controls cholesterol and triglycerides, the values can alter during oncological therapies; to reduce them yes to diet, physical activity and any lipid-lowering drugs (effectively lower cholesterol).
- Check the blood pressure and, in case of hypertension, adopt adequate drug therapy under medical supervision.
- Choose one balanced diet, rich in vegetables, limiting or abolishing red meat and sugars and sweets, but without any other particular restrictions. Extreme diets, such as the vegan diet, are more difficult to keep balanced and there is no clear evidence of any benefits.
- Discuss with your oncologist the opportunity to hire calcium and vitamin D to counter the tendency to osteoporosis induced by the therapies practiced.
- Contact a cardioncologist for an optimal approach to the integrated control of oncological and cardiac risks
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