- Patients with breast and prostate cancers who are treated with hormonal therapies have an increased risk of heart attack and/or stroke as they age.
- The increased likelihood of a heart attack or stroke is greater in patients who already have two or more cardiovascular risk factors such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, obesity, smoking or a family history of heart disease or stroke.
- The longer the duration of hormonal therapy, the higher the risk of cardiovascular disease.
- Guideline-specific recommendations for reducing heart disease and stroke risk should be followed for patients undergoing breast or prostate cancer treatment, perhaps with earlier intervention compared to a patient who does not have cancer.
The hormonal therapies used to treat many breast and prostate cancers raise the risk of a heart attack and stroke, and patients should be monitored regularly and receive treatment to reduce risk and detect problems as they occur, according to a new American Heart Association scientific statement, published today in the Association’s journal Circulation: Genomic and Precision Medicine.
“The statement provides data on the risks of each type of hormonal therapy so clinicians can use it as a guide to help manage cardiovascular risks during cancer treatment,” said Tochi M. Okwuosa, D.O., FAHA, chair of the scientific statement writing group, an associate professor of medicine and cardiology and director of Cardio-Oncology Services at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago.