The heart plays a major role in human life and its proper functionality is very vital all the times. Much as we may want to have a healthy heart, the heart is very vulnerable to attacks from various toxic elements some of which we use as food. When the heart is ailing the whole body feels the pain and that is the motivation we have in discussing this topic of understanding what cardiac or cardio toxicity is. This piece of information will be very vital for all of us if we want to have a properly functioning heart and healthy body says doctor Dalal Akoury who is also the founder of AWAREmed Health and Wellness Resource Center. The formation of this facility was guided by informed decision on the suffering of people across the globe more with health matters relating to weight management, cancer, substance abuse and heart complications.
With all these and many other complications, Dr. Akoury made a decision to create a medical center whose main objective is to transform each individual’s life through increasing awareness about health and wellness and by empowering individuals to find their own inner healing power. Dr. Akoury’s practice focuses on personalized medicine through healthy lifestyle choices that deal with primary prevention and underlying causes instead of patching up symptoms. You can now be part of this solution solving institution under the able leadership of doctor Akoury by scheduling for an appointment with her for professional treatment and care. And now back to the topic of discussion, cardiac toxicity can be defined as any damage caused to the heart by harmful chemicals. When the damage is done, what follows would be to seek for treatment. Therefore as part of treatment, the patients may be given toxins which are drugs designed to kill cancer cells. When this kind of treatment is being administered, it is likely to come with some side effects. Like for instance during treatment, not just the cancer cell that will be killed but even the normal cells in and around the heart can also be killed in the process thereby causing more vulnerability. Besides cell death, other types of cardiac toxicity from cancer treatment may include the following:
Cardiomyopathy – this normally happens when heart muscle becomes or is weakened, enlarged, thickened, or stiff. When it is not addressed timely, it can lead to changes in heart rhythm or even heart failure.
Myocarditis – this is inflammation (swelling) of the heart and can lead to changes in the heart rhythm or heart failure.
Pericarditis – this is an inflammation or swelling of the sac surrounding the heart and can also cause chest pain or heart failure.
Acute coronary syndromes – these are caused by blood vessel damage, which reduces blood flow to the heart. This can cause chest pain or a heart attack (myocardial infarction).
Congestive heart failure – this happens when the heart is unable to pump sufficient blood throughout the body. Chemotherapy can cause mild or severe damage to the heart. If severe, congestive heart failure or other life-threatening problems can occur. A heart transplant may even be needed.
In the process of cancer treatment, there are certain medications which when administered will have the cardiac toxicity as a side effect. Some of those medication processes we are going to discuss may include the following:
- Targeted therapy
- Radiation therapy
Let us now consider them with a view of finding out how they are causing cardiac or cardio toxicity in the following order:
According to the experts at AWAREmed Health and Wellness Resource Center, doctor Akoury says that we have some of the chemotherapy drugs that when used, are most commonly known to be causing heart damage. Such medications that are commonly used include anthracyclines. This drug for instance (Anthracyclines) is used to treat many different types of cancers including the cancer of leukemia, lymphoma, sarcomas as well as bladder, bone, breast, head and neck, kidney, skin, stomach, and other cancers. It is very important that when opting for thing kinds of medications, you need to consult with your doctor quit often so that in the event that there is any problem, it can be addressed before it get out of hand. Some of the brands of Anthracyclines may include:
- Daunorubicin (Cerubidine®),
- Doxorubicin liposome injection (Doxil®),
- Epirubicin (Ellence®),
- Idarubicin (Idamycin® PFS), and
- Valrubicin (Valstar®)
In rare cases, cyclophosphamide can damage the heart. This chemotherapy drug is an alkylating agent. It is sometimes used to treat some types of leukemia, lymphoma, myeloma, and sarcomas as well as bone, breast, central nervous system, ovarian, and skin cancers.
Targeted therapy drugs that can cause damage to the heart include trastuzumab (Herceptin®), bevacizumab (Avastin®), lapatinib (Tykerb®), sunitinib (Sutent®), and sorafenib (Nexavar®). These drugs are used in a variety of cancer types and therefore if you are struggling with cancer, it is understandable that you need timely treatment, but in all these ensure that no self-medication habit is encouraged. Always seek for professionalism and only go to the right experts for prescription.
Many patients with cancer get radiation therapy to the chest. Not all types of cancer can be treated through this treatment process. Nonetheless, the following are some of the examples of cancers that may be treated with radiation and they include breast cancer, lung cancer, lymphoma, and some childhood cancers. Careful attention and precautions must be observed when opting for this treatment procedure because in many cases it can damage the blood vessels responsible for the delivery of the blood to the heart. Patients who are treated with both anthracyclines and radiation to the chest are at high risk for heart problems. So are patients who are treated with both anthracyclines and trastuzumab. Finally, and like just I had mention before the good health of your heart should be your first priority by all means. Doctor Akoury can be of help to you in keeping the health of your heart. All you need to do is to schedule for an appointment with her today and your life will never be the same again.