Some cancers alter heart before treatment, study finds

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Some types of cancers, not treatment, may modify the heart's appearance and function, according to a study published April 21 in Journal of the American Heart Association. 

While previous research has tied a history of cancer to an increased risk for heart problems, whether the risk comes from the cancer itself or the common treatments used to treat cancer has been largely unknown. 

To investigate further, researchers from Canada evaluated 381 people with breast cancer or lymphoma who hadn't started chemotherapy, and 102 people without cancer or heart disease. Both study cohorts underwent cardiac MRI scans to create 3D models of their hearts. 

The scans showed those with cancer had reduced volume of the left ventricle, which led to the heart pumping less blood per beat, elevated heart strain and inflammation. 

"The baseline assumption — that the heart is in a normal state of health prior to treatment for cancer — may not entirely be true," said James White, MD, senior study author and director of the Stephenson Cardiovascular Imaging Centre of the Libin Cardiovascular Institute in Canada.

To view the full study, click here.

 

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