Why Are Cancer Survivors at Risk for Heart Disease?

Cancer survivors have an increased risk for heart attacks and vascular disease (CVD) and several new studies reveal that this may be from toxicities of conventional cancer treatment. Patients with invasive cancer, diagnosed between 1973 and 2015, were analyzed from the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) program, a network of population-based incident tumor registries, covering 28% of the US population, including incidence, survival, and treatment. Through this information, the cause of death from clinician or coroner coded CVDs (heart disease, hypertension, cerebrovascular disease, atherosclerosis, aortic aneurysm/dissection, and other diseases of arteries, arterioles, or capillaries) was analyzed. In this representative sample, 49.3% of cancer patients died from either their cancer or from CVD. This study noticed that the majority of deaths (absolute numbers) from CVD occur in patients diagnosed with breast, prostate, or bladder cancer.(1)

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Another study revealed that a Immunotherapy drugs ipilimumab (Yervoy) and/or nivolumab/pembrolizumab (Opdivo), “large variety of cardiotoxic events with manifestations such as heart failure, cardiomyopathy, heart block, myocardial fibrosis and myocarditis was documented.”(2) These drugs fall into a class of anti-CTLA-4 and anti-PD1 antibody medications used in various tumor types including melanoma, non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), renal cell cancer (RCC), and Hodgkin disease.

Toxicity may be a necessary side-effect of saving one’s life but we suggest one take preventative actions to protect one’s heart and vessels  should they choose chemotherapy and/or Immunotherapy. We recommend our Blood Pressure Control Bundle of supplements (new and improved) because they are a great CVD preventative blend of essential nutrients and enzymes to protect and heal the coronary vessels.


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  1. Kathleen M Sturgeon, Lei Deng, Shirley M Bluethmann, Shouhao Zhou, Daniel M Trifiletti, Changchuan Jiang, Scott P Kelly, Nicholas G Zaorsky, A population-based study of cardiovascular disease mortality risk in US cancer patients, European Heart Journal, Volume 40, Issue 48, 21 December 2019, Pages 3889–3897, https://doi.org/10.1093/eurheartj/ehz766
  2. Heinzerling, L., Ott, P.A., Hodi, F.S. et al. Cardiotoxicity associated with CTLA4 and PD1 blocking immunotherapy. j. immunotherapy cancer 4, 50 (2016). https://doi.org/10.1186/s40425-016-0152-y