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Cardio-Oncology Explained

Cardio-oncology is a comprehensive system of cancer care designed to reduce any potential heart disease complications for cancer patients or survivors. At each of our Baptist Cancer Center locations, we have a dedicated team of cardio oncologists, cardiologists and nurse navigators who collaborate to help coordinate your care and ensure you receive the most appropriate treatment while minimizing any existing heart conditions or future heart complications.

How Cardio-Oncology Works

Baptist Cancer Center oncologists collaborate with the cardiologists at Stern Cardiovascular to anticipate, prevent and manage the heart diseases that can develop before, during or after cancer treatment. Using leading-edge diagnostics, they will discuss cancer treatment options with you and your cancer care team to minimize the risk of further heart complications and to limit delays or interruptions in your cancer therapy while protecting your heart during and after treatment. They will continue to monitor you throughout your cancer journey and will recommend adjustments and medications when necessary. Every patient referred to the program is assigned a dedicated nurse navigator to help coordinate care and ensure quality care.

Following your treatment, Baptist's cardiologist will monitor your heart for any changes and provide guidance for healthy living, diet and exercise regimens.

Why Cardio-Oncology Care is Essential

Cancer patients with previously diagnosed heart disease require special care to prevent further heart damage during treatment. Any cancer patient receiving chemotherapy and radiation therapy can be susceptible to heart damage and the increased risk of heart disease from toxicities while receiving these lifesaving cancer therapies.

Cardio-Oncology Conditions

Our experts seek specific conditions and follow cardio-oncology guidelines to determine next steps in your treatment.

Baptist Cancer Center oncologists and the cardiologists at Stern Cardiovascular will look for any sign of heart disease or irregularity that can be exacerbated by or result from cancer therapies, including:

  • Heart failure or a weakened heart muscle
  • Heart attack or a blockage of blood vessels of the heart
  • Arrhythmias or heart rhythm disorders, such as atrial fibrillation
  • Heart valve disease, such as premature narrowing of heart valves
  • Pericardial disease or complications of the lining surrounding the heart muscle

Oncologists also screen all cancer patients for conditions that could increase their chances of developing heart disease during treatment, including:

  • High blood pressure
  • High cholesterol
  • Diabetes
  • Obesity
  • Tobacco use
  • A family history of heart disease
Nurse checks the IV bag over a palliative care cancer patient.

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Explore Our Cancer Services

Baptist Cancer Center provides a wide range of cancer care services. Whether you or a loved one needs radiation therapy, genetic counseling, reconstructive surgery or another form of cancer support, we serve the Mid-South with close-to-home care. Learn more about our cancer services now.