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This innovative program monitors chemotherapy’s effect on the heart before, during and after treatment.

Cancer treatments, especially for breast, can harm your heart. That’s why Health Quest has created the Cardio-Oncology program. It’s a seamless approach to treating cancer and how its therapy affects your heart. Cancer specialists work together with cardiovascular specialists from The Heart Center to develop a plan designed to maximize cardiovascular outcomes during and after cancer treatment. And it’s the first and only program of its kind in the Hudson Valley.

Meet the Providers

Health Quest breast cancer teams include board certified diagnostic radiologists, pathologists, medical oncologists, radiation oncologists, endocrinologists, geneticists and surgeons. Other team members include oncology-trained nurses, genetic counselors, patient navigators, registered dietitians, and physical and occupational therapists. All are committed to identifying and implementing the best breast cancer treatment plan for each individual patient.

Assessing the Heart’s Condition Before Treatment Begins

The program starts as soon as you are diagnosed with cancer, regardless of whether you have a pre-existing heart condition. Your oncologist will alert the cardiologist, who will be able to see you within 24 to 48 hours to conduct an initial assessment, which usually consists of a 3D Echocardiogram of your heart and other imaging tests. These tests establish a baseline evaluation, which is used to compare future heart tests throughout your cancer treatment.

Coordinated Care During and After Treatment

Radiation and chemotherapy treatments use cardio-toxic agents, which are known to cause heart complications such as heart failure. Chemotherapy for breast cancer is especially hard on the heart, due to the heart’s proximity to the breast, but other cancer treatments also take a toll on the heart.

To monitor the cumulative effect of cardiac toxicity and make therapy adjustments as necessary, Cardio-Oncology ensures the oncologist and cardiologist coordinate care:

  • They work together on a treatment plan.
  • They communicate constantly, noting progress and immediately addressing any issues that may arise.
  • They respect the patient’s time, making it easy to schedule cardio and oncology appointments on the same day, which reduces patient stress.

Once treatment is over, the cardiologist arranges a follow-up heart test, with the timeframe depending on the patient’s case. It is important to continue to monitor the heart as problems can arise 10 to 20 years after treatment.

A Registry to Help Improve Outcomes

Because Cardio-Oncology is a new medical service, we are keeping a growing registry of patients who have participated in the program. We hope to share results through published, peer-reviewed articles that help advance this new service and improve outcomes for cancer patients.

 

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