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Cancer treatment can cause heart disease, from the Harvard Heart Letter

August 01, 2012

For people with cancer, chemotherapy and radiation therapy can be life-prolonging treatments. They can also cause serious heart problems, reports the August 2012 issue of the Harvard Heart Letter.

Some chemotherapy agents are so toxic that severe reactions may occur while the drug is being given. With others, cardiovascular problems like high blood pressure, blood clots, arrhythmias, and stroke appear shortly after chemotherapy starts. Other chemotherapy drugs put people at increased risk for a future heart attack or heart failure. The Heart Letter lists the chemotherapy agents most toxic to the heart and their corresponding cardiovascular effects.

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