Heart Disease & Cancer
Heart health during and after treatment
The cross-specialty cardio-oncology program at Novant Health balances your cancer treatment and the protection of your heart health. Designed to support you throughout your cancer care journey, this program unites cardiologists and oncologists to ensure your heart is protected during and after treatment.
Why Is cardio-oncology needed?
Cancer treatments, including chemotherapy, radiation, targeted therapies and immunotherapies, can increase the risk of heart disease by weakening the heart muscle and disrupting its electrical activity.
These cardiotoxic effects can worsen or cause the following heart problems:
- Heart attack
- Heart failure
- High blood pressure (hypertension)
- Inflammation around the heart muscle (myocarditis)
- Irregular heartbeat (arrhythmia)
- Ischemic (small vessel) disease
Some of these conditions may occur during your cancer treatment, and others may appear well after your treatment has ended.
Novant Health Cardio-Oncology Program
The dedicated specialists at the Novant Health Heart and Vascular Institute and Cancer Institute offer a cardio-oncology program to protect your heart health before, during and after you undergo treatment for cancer.
Whether you had heart disease before your cancer treatment or your cancer treatment is causing new heart problems, our specialists will work together to protect your cardiovascular health and help you manage any heart-related side effects from cancer treatments.
After your cancer treatments end, your care team will carefully monitor your heart and vascular health so they can identify and treat any issues that arise early before they become more severe.
Our cardiologists and oncologists are working together to create cancer treatment plans that reduce your risk of heart problems. The specialists at Novant Health are also dedicated to researching new cancer treatments that are less harmful to the heart.
Who Treats Cancer and Heart Disease?
The heart-focused members of your care team may include your general cardiologist, specialists in cardiac imaging and analysis, interventional cardiologists and/or cardiac surgeons.
Oncologists specialize in treating cancer. You may have one or more specialists on your team, including a medical oncologist (for chemotherapy, immunotherapy or targeted therapy), a radiation oncologist (for radiation treatment) or a surgical oncologist (for tumor removal through surgery).
Your care team may also include hematologists, who are experts in treating blood and bone marrow diseases. If any cancer treatments have side effects that may affect your blood or bone marrow, these specialists will create a plan to prevent or reduce the treatment's adverse effects.