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World Menopause Day 2023: top 3 things you should understand about cardiovascular disease after breast cancer

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Doctor listening to patient's heart with stethoscope

In honor of World Menopause Day, we at Outcomes4Me want to shed light on an important intersection of breast cancer care and women’s health. Every year, World Menopause Day focuses on a different aspect of menopausal health, and this year’s theme is particularly close to our hearts: cardiovascular disease.

While menopause is a natural phase in a woman’s life, its implications on heart health are profound. For breast cancer patients, the concern doubles, especially if treatments like chemotherapy or radiation have damaged your heart or they have ushered you into medically-induced menopause. Enter a specialist every breast cancer patient should be familiar with: the cardio-oncologist.

Here are 3 things about heart health you should understand as a breast cancer survivor. 

1. What is cardio-oncology?

Cardio-oncology bridges the gap between cardiology and oncology. It’s the expertise that delves into the cardiovascular complications that may arise due to cancer therapies. Given that some breast cancer treatments can lead to early or medically-induced menopause understanding its heart health implications becomes paramount.

2. Why is cardio-oncology vital for breast cancer patients?

A cardio-oncologist can work with you to develop a plan to help protect against cardiotoxicity. Certain breast cancer treatments can directly impact the heart. A cardio-oncologist can monitor, prevent, and manage these potential side effects.

3. What questions should I ask my doctor?

To ensure you’re receiving comprehensive care that covers all bases, here’s a list of questions you might consider asking during your appointment with a cardio-oncologist:

  • How does my cancer treatment impact my heart health, especially in the context of menopause?
  • What tests will monitor my heart health during and post-treatment?
  • Are there any preventive measures I can take to protect my heart during treatment?
  • How does medically-induced menopause alter my cardiovascular risk profile compared to natural menopause?
  • Are there any lifestyle changes I should consider to support my heart health?
  • What symptoms should prompt me to seek immediate medical attention related to cardiovascular health?
  • Is Hormone Replacement Therapy a safe option for me, considering my breast cancer history and heart health?

Remember, your health is multidimensional. While fighting breast cancer, it’s essential to keep an eye on your overall well-being, including heart health. This World Menopause Day, let’s pledge to give our hearts the attention they deserve.

Stay strong and empowered! With the myriad challenges and questions that arise during and post-treatment, staying informed is paramount. Use the Outcomes4Me app to keep abreast of the latest in survivorship resources. Tracking symptoms, understanding side effects, and accessing the most current research can all be at your fingertips. Remember, knowledge is power, and you’re not in this alone. Together with Outcomes4Me, we’ll navigate the path of survivorship with confidence and clarity.

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