Understanding Chemotherapy-Induced Heart Damage

One of the last things a person wants to have to deal with while going through chemotherapy is learning that it may have caused damage to their heart. However, there is an increased risk of having heart disease if you have undergone chemotherapy. Chemotherapy can cause your heart muscle to weaken, which increases the risk of having a heart attack, especially during an infusion of the medication.

Chemotherapy-induced heart damage is rare and not all of the available chemotherapy drugs have a potential side effect of heart damage. Some have found that the newer anti-cancer drugs, such as those for breast cancer, may still cause heart damage but it can be temporary or fully treated.

Deciding on Your Chemotherapy Medication

While there may not be that many treatment choices for your specific type of cancer, your doctor can help determine what your risk would be for heart damage by having you undergo heart function testing prior to the beginning of your treatment. Your heart may also be monitored during your treatment to detect any abnormalities.

If you have a pre-existing heart condition, your doctor may suggest a different type of chemotherapy to not increase your risk of having heart damage due to your cancer treatment. The amount of the chemotherapy drug you have throughout your lifetime will further increase your chances of heart damage. It is extremely important your doctor monitors how much of the drug you are receiving and you must notify somebody if you experience shortness of breath or chest pain at any time throughout your treatment period.

Working with a heart doctor, or cardiologist, in Pearland can help reduce the risk of chemotherapy-induced heart damage. With careful planning, monitoring, and getting the proper tests done prior to treatment you can help lower your chances of experiencing heart damage.

Radiation and Heart Damage

If you require radiation to your heart for your cancer treatment, you will further your risk of coronary artery disease, cardiomyopathy, and heart attack. Combining radiation with chemotherapy will increase your chances even more. It is important to understand these risks when speaking with your doctor and deciding on what type of cancer treatment plan you want to take. There are certain steps your doctor can take in order to reduce the risk of heart damage as much as possible.

Accredited Labs

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Gulf Coast Heart Clinics are equipped with advanced technologies and equipments. The Echo & Nuclear Cardiology Laboratories are accredited by the Intersocietal Accreditation Commission (ICA)

Office Procedures

Dr. Huang has rich experience in the diagnosis and management of the most complex cardiovascular issues. These include but not limited to:
  • Coronary artery disease
  • Chest pain/Chest discomfort
  • High blood pressure
  • High cholesterol

League City Location

Located at 501 Gulf Freeway South, Suite 106, League City, TX 77573.

Phone: (281) 534-8600


Houston Location

Located at 9600 Bellaire Blvd, Suite 202, Houston, TX 77036.

Phone: (713) 771-6969  Fax: (713) 270-6969