As cancer care has improved and become more targeted and effective throughout the years, more and more patients are surviving. While beneficial in treating cancer, many of the therapies used—including chemotherapy drugs such as anthracycline and trastuzumab (herceptin), targeted therapies and immunotherapy as well as radiation—can be toxic to the heart and lead to various cardiac and vascular problems.
The potential risk of cardio-toxicity due to cancer treatment puts both cancer patients and cancer survivors at an increased risk of developing cardiovascular conditions, such as:
Under the direction of Jason Robin, MD, a cardiologist board-certified in cardio-oncology, NorthShore’s cardio-oncology program provides highly specialized heart care for patients with cancer.
Collaborative, Highly Coordinated Care
At NorthShore, we work as a collaborative team across various disciplines to focus on your current disease as well as your whole body. Our cardio-oncology experts work closely with our Kellogg Cancer Center team to streamline appropriate cardiac monitoring, interventions and prevention techniques. We also partner with our cancer survivorship program to both educate and monitor cancer survivors.
Knowing that cancer treatment increases the risk for blood clots and thrombosis, our team also works closely with vascular medicine experts as part of the NorthShore Thrombophilia Clinic to treat cancer-associated thrombosis.
The best way to combat the potential risk of cardiac problems as a result of cancer treatment is through prevention. Through preventative care, proactive cardiac monitoring and assessments, and other therapies, we strive to limit cardiac complications caused by cancer treatment.
Our cardio-oncology program at NorthShore focuses on cancer patients with or without an existing cardiovascular condition—before, during and after receiving cancer treatment. Our program offers the following services:
Before Cancer Treatment
- Identify a patient’s risk of developing a cardiovascular disease through a comprehensive risk assessment that may include reviewing family medical history and lifestyle preferences as well as diagnostic testing, cardiac imaging and more
- Educate patients and their families about the potential cardiac risks associated with cancer treatment
- Collaborate with our oncology specialists on the best treatment plan for cancer patients with an existing cardiovascular condition
During Cancer Treatment
- Closely monitor patients for potential cardiovascular issues and conditions throughout treatment
- Use advanced imaging and biomarkers to diagnose cardio-toxicity due to cancer treatment at its earliest and most treatable stages
- Recommend approaches to limit cardiac risk, including lifestyle and dietary changes
- Offer necessary cardiac support throughout the treatment process
After Cancer Treatment
- Follow and monitor patients after treatment for potential cardiovascular issues with structured follow-ups
- Guide patients on ways to encourage heart health, including modifications to diet, exercise and other lifestyle preferences
- Partner with NorthShore cancer survivorship program to educate and follow-up with past patients
Our cardio-oncology team strives to provide you with seamless, expert care—both by partnering with your oncologist and your cancer care team and helping to reduce your risk of cardiovascular conditions as a result of your cancer treatment. Our specialists are also involved in leading-edge clinical research, investigating new strategies for limiting and treating cardio-toxicity from conventional as well as emerging cancer therapies such as immunotherapy.
To learn more about our Cardio-Oncology program at NorthShore or to schedule an appointment, please call 847.86.HEART (43278).