Advertisement

Select Page

New technique identifies early heart complications in breast cancer survivors

New technique identifies early heart complications in breast cancer survivors

UBCEves_opt

Researchers at UBC’s Okanagan campus have identified a new method of detecting cardio-vascular disease in women who are recovering from breast cancer.

Neil Eves (pictured above), assoc. prof in the School of Health and Exercise Sciences, says this breakthrough is particularly relevant for detecting early-stage disease in those individuals at risk of developing heart complications due to the side effects of specific chemotherapy.

In their study, Eves says they were able to detect heart damage earlier resulting from chemotherapy. This was possible when they assessed the combined heart and blood vessel function of cancer survivors while they exercised. This heart abnormality was not evident when the patients were resting.

“Breast cancer treatment is a success story, about 90 per cent of patients survive longer than five years,” says Eves, senior author of the study that was published in this month’s issue of the Oncologist. “However, the same drugs that increase survival can also cause damage to the heart.”

Breast cancer affects one out of nine women, 60 per cent of those receive chemotherapy. However, breast cancer survivors have an increased risk of death due to accelerated cardiovascular disease in the years following treatment.

“The sooner we diagnose heart damage, the earlier we can identify those individuals at higher risk of developing more serious heart conditions and we can take steps to potentially correct it,” says Eves.

Eves and his colleagues compared the heart and blood vessels of female breast cancer patients, who were treated with a chemotherapy that contains the compound anthracycline, with healthy women of the same age. Neither of these groups had signs or complaints of heart complications while they were resting. However, heart abnormalities were detected in the breast cancer survivors, while their hearts were stressed during exercise.

“Previous studies have only examined resting heart and blood vessel function during, or shortly following, treatment,” says Eves’ former graduate student and study co-author, Graeme Koelwyn. “Ours is the first study to evaluate the combined heart and blood vessel function in patients up to 10 years post-treatment during exercise.”

The research was supported by the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation and the Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research.

Related Post

About The Author

Editor

Okanagan Life captures the essence of life in the Okanagan Valley with informative and entertaining features on issues that matter to people who live or vacation in this great region, plus stories on Okanagan destinations, personalities, wine, food, history, outdoor recreation and more. We're now in our 30th year of publishing. Subscribe

Current Issue

Oct-Nov-2018-Okanagan-Life-developers

Current Issue

Oct | Nov 2018 Okanagan Life

Purchase

Upcoming Events

Nov
23
Fri
6:00 pm 10th Annual Global Gala @ Delta Grand Resort
10th Annual Global Gala @ Delta Grand Resort
Nov 23 @ 6:00 pm
10th Annual Global Gala @ Delta Grand Resort | Kelowna | British Columbia | Canada
The fourth-year nursing students from the University of British Columbia (UBCO), in partnership with Okanagan-Zambia Health Initiative (OkaZHI), proudly host the 10th Annual Global Gala. The Global Gala is the formal charity event that features[...]
Nov
30
Fri
5:00 pm Summerland Festival of Lights @ Downtown Summerland
Summerland Festival of Lights @ Downtown Summerland
Nov 30 @ 5:00 pm – 9:00 pm
Summerland Festival of Lights @ Downtown Summerland | Victoria | Texas | United States
Summerland will switch-on of its downtown lights on Friday, November 30. Be treated to an evening of festive fun with a country twist. Presented by the Summerland Chamber of Commerce and the District of Summerland,[...]

Error: Please enter a valid email address

Error: Invalid email

Error: Please enter your first name

Error: Please enter your last name

Error: Please enter a username

Error: Please enter a password

Error: Please confirm your password

Error: Password and password confirmation do not match