The Mary Bird Perkins-Our Lady of the Lake Cancer Center and the OLOL Heart & Vascular Institute have together launched a cardio-oncology clinic.
Led by Dr. Leon Cannizzaro of OLOL Louisiana Cardiology Associates, the clinic marks a significant collaboration between oncologists and cardiologists that OLOL believes will give its patients their best chance for beating cancer and reduce the opportunity for heart-related problems in the future.
Specifically, the cardio-oncology clinic will help assess any heart issues a patient may have prior to cancer diagnosis, as well as any side effects that can occur during and following chemotherapy and radiation. Patients with cancer have a higher risk of developing cardiovascular disease that may lead to an interruption in their cancer treatment and affect their long-term quality of life and overall survival.
While anti-cancer drugs and radiation are designed to target and eliminate tumor cells, there can also be collateral injury to other healthy tissues like the heart, says Cannizzaro in a prepared statement. Because of this, cardiotoxicity is a potential side effect of many cancer therapies.
The clinic is designed for patients with a history of cardiotoxicity due to chemotherapy or certain targeted therapies, or a history of pre-existing heart disease, radiation therapy to the chest, or cardiovascular risk factors such as high blood pressure, diabetes, high cholesterol, obesity or tobacco use. Read the full announcement.