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If you or a loved one has faced cancer, you know it can be very overwhelming. Frequent cancer treatments can be grueling, and cancer can take a serious emotional and financial toll. There’s a lot to consider, but managing your heart health during and after cancer treatment is very important, too.

Keep in mind that not all cancer treatments cause heart problems, and not everyone who receives cancer therapies will end up having heart troubles. Still, you should:

  • Discuss your heart health with your care team.
  • Ask whether the cancer treatments you’ve had – or expect to receive – can affect your heart and in what ways.
  • Keep a record of what cancer treatments you have received and when, as well as side effects you might have had.
  • Live a heart-healthy lifestyle by keeping an eye on your diet and physical activity. Also, monitor your blood pressure, and cholesterol and blood sugar levels.
  • Ask if you need regular heart checkups after treatment, and how often

It's important to learn more about how cancer treatments can affect the heart and strategies to stay on top of your heart health before, during and after undergoing cancer therapy.  

“Not every person who has been treated with cancer therapies that can affect the heart is going to develop heart disease. But whether you have heart disease when you find out you have cancer or not, it’s good to be aware of possible effects on your heart. That will help you ask the right questions.” – Martha Gulati, MD, FACC, former CardioSmart editor-in-chief
  • Last Edited 03/15/2023