Rationale for Cardio-Oncology Units

Lara F Nhola, Hector R Villarraga
Revista Española de Cardiología 2017, 70 (7): 583-589
With the rapidly rising number of patients surviving cancer, often in the setting of new or pre-existing cardiovascular disease and risk factors, a need has arisen for a specialty within the realm of cardiovascular care that can evaluate and manage these patients along with our colleagues in oncology and hematology. By the same token, all health care providers involved in the care of cancer patients with heart disease must be fully aware of the impact of adverse cardiovascular effects on the survival of these patients. Collaboration is required to mitigate the effect of cardiovascular toxicity associated with these necessary life-saving cancer therapies. The cardio-oncologist plays a pivotal role in bridging the 2 specialties, by creating a comprehensive plan to address the comorbidities as well as to provide guidance on the optimal choice of therapy. In this 3-part review, we will outline: a) the significant impact of cancer therapies on the cardiovascular health of patients with cancer and cancer survivors, b) the advantage of a multidisciplinary team in addressing these cardiovascular complications, and c) the delivery of clinical care to patients with cancer and heart disease.


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