[Postoperative radiotherapy of breast cancer and cardiotoxicity]

Tamás Nagykálnai, A Csaba Nagy, László Landherr
Orvosi Hetilap 2014 June 8, 155 (23): 897-902
Cardiac complications may present a particular problem following radiation treatment applied to the mediastinum and thoracic wall (and especially to the left breast). Exposure of the heart during radiotherapy increases the risk of ischemic heart disease occurring generally years after the treatment. The incidence of radiation cardiotoxicity depends on various factors related to oncological therapies and the patient (details of radiotherapy, age, gender, comorbidities, smoking habits, etc.). Until recently the majority of clinical studies reported increased cardiac morbidity in patients receiving radiation treatment of the chest wall and the breast. Due to modern methods, however, postoperative chest wall and left breast irradiation is much safer today than previously. In order to avoid cardiotoxicity, adherence to clinical practice guidelines for chemo- and targeted therapy of breast cancer, use of the most advanced irradiation procedures, regular monitoring of patients, and close cooperation between cardiologists and oncologists are all recommended.

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