Spectrum Health treats cardiovascular issues that arise from cancer treatment

There have been great advancements in cancer screenings, diagnosis and treatment and improving the survival rates for patients and cancer survivors. However some of the treatments may cause lasting damage to the heart, especially if a person is at risk for heart disease.

That's why Spectrum Health believes it's important to monitor every stage of cancer treatment for people who are at risk for, develop, or have a cardiovascular disease. Their goal is to treat the underlying cancer but also ensure that the patients do not experience any major heart complications as a side effect of their cancer treatment.

Dr. Wissam Abdallah, Cardiologist at Spectrum Health, talks about the specialized team at Spectrum Health Grand Rapids Cardiovascular Services, and how they make sure patients are treated for cancer, while reducing the risk of other cardiovascular diseases.

When a patient has a high risk of getting heart disease while getting cancer treatment, some of the chemotherapy agents may cause heart failure, chest pain, a heart attack, effect blood pressure, or an abnormal heart rhythm.

Patients who have risk factors for heart disease, such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, smoking history, or a strong family history of heart disease, may be at a higher risk for developing some of these cardiac side effects from the chemotherapy they would be receiving.

The cardio-oncology multispecialty team at Spectrum Health monitors and treats patients who are at risk for developing heart conditions due to certain types of cancer treatment. The cardiologists work very closely with the medical oncologists and a multidisciplinary team of cancer clinicians to monitor and treat patients who are at risk for or may develop cardiac complications. They evaluate the patients clinically and utilize advanced imaging technologies to assess for any early signs of damage to the heart during or after chemotherapy.

Patients are assessed and treated at any phase of treatment; whether the cancer patient is already at risk or not for heart disease, they can stratify the risk of the patients for any potential heart complications.

The priority is to treat and cure the cancer, but Spectrum Health also wants to make sure that patients do not develop any complications from their chemotherapy drugs or radiation therapy. It's extremely important to identify any heart complications early to be able to treat that sooner than later.

Spectrum Health's Grand Rapids Cardiovascular Services are located at 2900 Bradford Street North East. For more information on treatments, give them a call at 616-855-5000.

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