In conjunction with Alliance Cancer Specialists, PC, and Penn Medicine Radiation Oncology Doylestown and various other specialists, we have created a Cardio-Oncology team that consists of cardiology, breast surgery, oncology, radiation oncology, radiation, pharmacy, and nursing. Our dedicated Doylestown Health Cardio-Oncology team provides patients with access to early cardiovascular assessment, intervention, and treatment to prevent life-saving cancer treatments’ detrimental delays.
Our mission is to improve the cardiovascular health of patients with cancer and cancer survivors through education, training, research development, and interdisciplinary collaboration. We strive to minimize cardiovascular and cardiometabolic toxicity during cancer treatment, along with attenuating cardiovascular risks during cancer survivorship.
Who Benefits from This Care
Our cardio-oncology team treats a continuum of patients — including those who are currently receiving chemotherapy or radiation therapy to survivors who are years past their cancer diagnosis but have had either cardiotoxic chemotherapy; head, neck, or chest radiation.
Your physician will receive updated communication regarding oncology treatment and cardiovascular recommendations specific to the patient.
Tests and Treatment
Cardiovascular testing such as electrocardiograms (EKG), echocardiograms, echocardiogram with strain imaging, arterial brachial indexes (ABI), biomarkers and stress tests may be ordered as appropriate for each patient. Cardiac medications such as beta-blockers, ace-inhibitors, or diuretics also may be added to the medication regimen to maintain optimal cardiac function.
Cardio-Oncology nurse navigator, Kassie Richman RN, BSN, has specialized training in both cardiology and oncology and is committed to supporting patients and their families from diagnosis through survivorship. Kassie is available to assist with:
- Scheduling appointments with a cardiologist
- Scheduling cardiac testing including echocardiogram with strain, EKGs, ABIs, and stress testing
- Answering questions and listening to concerns
- Clarifying unfamiliar issues and providing education material
Patient Education: What Is Cardio-Oncology?
Cardio-Oncology is a new field that offers a team approach led by cardiologists (heart doctors) and oncologists (cancer doctors). The goal is to prevent or treat heart problems caused by cancer treatments. The number of cancer survivors continues to increase in the United States due to advances in cancer treatment. Cancer treatments that help patients live longer may also damage the heart.
What Is Cardiotoxicity and How Is it Treated?
Cancer drugs and treatments, such as chemotherapy, radiation, and immunotherapy, can damage the heart. Even after you finish treatment, you may be at higher risk for any of these complications. Side effects may include:
- Heart failure (the heart muscle weakens)
- Arrhythmia (abnormal heartbeat)
- Hypertension (high blood pressure)
To treat cardiotoxicity, your doctor may:
- Change chemotherapy
- Add a heart protective medicine
- Alternate radiation exposure
- Manage any cardiac symptoms (heart failure, high blood pressure, or arrhythmia)
What Is the Goal of the Cardio-Oncology Program at Doylestown Health?
Our goal is to provide expert care for patients who have cancer and are at high risk of heart disease. We aim to match the most appropriate cancer therapy with the least risk of heart problems for the patient. We use a team approach to provide the best care and achieve the best possible outcomes. Our mission is to promote quality of life and heart health during your entire cancer journey.
To learn more, visit the American College of Cardiology Foundation.
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