Cardio-Oncology: Fluoropyrimidine Chemotherapy Treatment with 5-fluorouracil (5FU) or capecitabine

Fluoropyrimidine Chemotherapy


What steps can I take to help reduce my risk of developing cardiotoxicity?

There is no way to know for sure who might develop heart problems from 5FU chemotherapy. However, people who already have heart risk factors or coronary artery disease — or both — have a higher likelihood of cardiotoxicity. During cancer treatment and for your overall health, it’s a good idea to follow heart-healthy behaviors.

CardioSmart has more resources about how to eat better, move more, or stop smoking.

Blood Pressure   

Blood pressure control is important during your cancer treatment and for your overall health. Your goal for blood pressure depends on your age and other health problems. Your blood pressure will be checked at every visit during your treatment.

If you are concerned that your blood pressure is too high or too low, you may want to check your blood pressure at home and bring those readings to your health visits.

The medications to treat 5FU or capecitabine cardiotoxicity are also ones that can affect your blood pressure. These medications (anti-anginals) work to stop coronary vasospasm. If you have chest pain, your doctor may give you one or more of these medications. 

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Published: January 2019
Authors: Suparna Clasen, MD; Rupal O’Quinn, MD, FACC; Joseph R. Carver, MD, FACC
Medical Reviewers: Deb Sundloff, DO, FACC; Bonnie Ky, MD, MSCE, FACC

These modules were developed in collaboration with the Eastern Cooperative Group—American College of Radiology Imaging Network (ECOG-ACRIN) Cardiotoxicity Working Group and Patient Advocacy Group.

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