Linking Urologic Cancer Care With Cardio-Oncology

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Our Cardio-Oncology Program at Doylestown Health is a collaboration between Cardiology and other specialties across our health system. The goal of the program is to identify patients receiving certain cancer treatments that, while lifesaving, can potentially damage the heart and cardiovascular system. The program, one of only a handful in the region, intervenes to monitor and care for a patient’s heart health during treatment and into survivorship.

Urology and Doylestown Health professionals in Cardiology, Breast Surgery, Pharmacy, and Nursing, plus counterparts from Alliance Cancer Specialists and Penn Medicine Radiation Oncology, meet quarterly to review the latest information on Cardio-Oncology care. Doylestown Health Urologist Dr. Nathan Peffer and Oncology Nurse Navigator Susan Wampler represent Urology on the Cardio-Oncology committee. The committee has created Urology-specific guidelines that identify high-risk patients who should see a cardiologist.

Urologic Cancer and Cardiac Risk

As a Nurse Navigator for Urology, Susan Wampler follows and supports urologic cancer patients. She works closely with our urologists and serves as an informational resource to patients. She also coordinates treatment and follow-up care. If a patient with prostate cancer has a history of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, or begins androgen deprivation therapy, per the Cardio-Oncology guidelines, Susan connects with the Cardio-Oncology Nurse Navigator, Kassie Richman. Kassie will make sure that the patient is seen by a cardiologist.

“Patients with advanced prostate cancer often undergo androgen deprivation therapy (ADT) with drugs such as Lupron or Eligard,” explains Susan. “ADT can inhibit testosterone production or block it from acting on prostate cancer cells, killing off the cells. But there may be cardiac side effects.”

Doylestown Health Cardiologist Dr. Lawrence Bish, who, along with Dr. Renee Sangrigoli, sees Cardio-Oncology patients, affirms that “Androgen deprivation therapy can be associated with increased risk of heart attacks and strokes.” He considers Urology an invaluable partner in the holistic welfare of urologic cancer patients. “Urology can help us identify patients who may be at elevated cardiac risk and help get the patient an appointment with the program.”

Cardio-Oncology Services

Cardio-Oncology patients receive a comprehensive assessment and treatment plan with our cardiologists. Dr. Bish explains that, “Patients are evaluated for modifiable cardiac risk factors, including screening for blood pressure, cholesterol, and coronary artery disease. We will also get a baseline EKG. Based on our evaluation, we can advise on the need for medical management of blood pressure and cholesterol and any other cardiac testing that may be needed, such as coronary calcium score, echocardiogram, or stress testing.”

“The Cardio-Oncology Program really allows all of the specialists to take a team approach,” says Susan. “We create as seamless a care experience as possible for our patients during a difficult time in their lives.”

About Doylestown Health

Doylestown Health is a comprehensive healthcare system of inpatient, outpatient and wellness education services connected to meet the health needs of all members of the local and regional community. Doylestown Hospital, the flagship to Doylestown Health has 271 beds and a Medical Staff of more than 435 physicians in over 50 specialties. An independent nonprofit health system, Doylestown Health is dedicated to providing innovative, patient-centered care for all ages.

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