While advanced medical treatments can help patients with breast cancer survive the disease, some options could make them more prone to several other health issues, according to a new report.
Researchers from The North American Menopause Society recently conducted a study, published in its journal of the same name, to evaluate heart disease risk factors for postmenopausal women who are survivors of breast cancer.
For the assessment, they examined postmenopausal women who survived breast cancer and women without breast cancer.
After analyzing the results, they found postmenopausal women who were survivors of breast cancer had a higher risk of metabolic syndrome, diabetes and abdominal obesity. They were also more likely to develop atherosclerosis, which occurs when fatty deposits clog your arteries, and hypertriglyceridemia, which happens when a high level of fat flows through the blood. The scientists noted each of those conditions can make adults more susceptible to cardiovascular disease.
“Heart disease appears more commonly in women treated for breast cancer because of the toxicities of chemotherapy, radiation therapy, and use of aromatase inhibitors, which lower estrogen,” co-author JoAnn Pinkerton said in a statement.
The team said heart-healthy lifestyle modifications will decrease both recurrent breast cancer risk as well as heart disease risk. They also urged women to schedule a cardiology consultation when breast cancer is diagnosed and to continue follow-ups after cancer treatments are completed.
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