Cardio-Oncology

CardioOncology

Our Approach to Treatment

Specialists from Houston Methodist DeBakey Heart & Vascular Center and Houston Methodist Cancer Center work to ensure your heart stays healthy during and after cancer treatment.

 

Effective cancer treatment often requires powerful drugs and therapies, including chemotherapy and radiation. We help minimize effects of these treatments on your heart by combining cancer care with expertise in cardiology and cardiotoxicity, or heart damage caused by cancer drugs and treatments.

 

We screen patients to prevent early heart problems and catch pre-existing heart disease, as well as monitor cardiac side effects from chemotherapy and radiation. Our cardio-oncology team works together to manage your treatment and provide follow-up care, if needed.

 

Cardiotoxicity screening during cancer treatment benefits patients because there generally are no symptoms. Additionally, our team will inform you about cardiotoxic drugs and tests and treatments that prevent significant cardiac problems.

 
Definition
Heart muscle damage caused by some chemotherapy agents.

Causes
Chemotherapy agents, including some prescribed for:

 

Conditions treated

  • Arrhythmias
  • Blood clots
  • Edema
  • Heart failure
  • Heart tumors
  • Hypertension
  • Myocardial ischemia
  • Myocarditis
 

Symptoms

  • Shortness of breath
  • Fatigue
  • Chest pains or palpitations
  • Edema, or fluid collection in body cavities or tissues

Screenings
  • Blood tests – identify certain biomarkers indicating irregular heart function
  • Cardiac CT scans
  • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
  • Speckle-tracking strain echocardiography – measures heart function and highlights deformities