Nav: Home

Heart failure more likely for some breast cancer and lymphoma survivors

February 28, 2018

ROCHESTER, Minn. -- Patients who were treated for breast cancer or lymphoma are more than three times at risk for developing congestive heart failure, compared with patients who did not have cancer. Congestive heart failure is when the heart muscle does not pump blood as well as it should. This research is being presented at the American College of Cardiology's 67th Annual Scientific Session.

The risk of increased heart failure occurred as early as one year after cancer diagnosis, but continued 20 years after patients completed cancer treatment, Mayo Clinic researchers found. Overall, 1 in 10 cancer patients developed heart failure by 20 years after cancer diagnosis, they discovered.

"The majority of patients do not develop heart failure, but our research helps us recognize the factors associated with it and the importance of appropriate heart care following cancer treatment," says Dr. Carolyn Larsen, M.D., a Mayo Clinic cardiologist who is the first author. "Our research suggests that periodic cardiac imaging to monitor for heart damage may be needed for some cancer patients even if they have no signs of heart damage initially after chemotherapy. Additionally, it emphasizes that working to live a heart-healthy lifestyle is important for cancer patients and survivors to reduce the overall risk of heart disease."

Using data from the Rochester Epidemiology Project, researchers retrospectively tracked heart failure cases in 900 breast cancer and lymphoma patients and 1,550 noncancer patients in Olmsted County in Minnesota from 1985 to 2010. Patients were well-matched for age, gender and heart disease risk factors, such as diabetes and high blood pressure.

Researchers focused on patients who were likely prescribed a chemotherapy drug called an anthracycline, such as doxorubicin, which is known to cause heart damage in some people by changing the heart muscle's DNA.

Research also revealed:
  • Cancer patients were three times as likely to develop heart failure within five years of their diagnosis. At 20 years after treatment, patients were still twice as likely to have been diagnosed with heart failure.
  • About 7 out of every 100 cancer patients developed heart failure during the median follow-up of 8.5 years.
  • Of those with cancer, patients who also were diabetic or received high doses of a type of chemotherapy called an anthracycline had an even higher risk for heart failure.


"We discovered that diabetes also was a strong risk factor, but we don't know what happens in the body that makes heart failure more likely in these patients," says Hector Villarraga, M.D., a Mayo Clinic cardiologist who is the senior author. This discovery points to the need for further research, he says.

Following treatment, breast cancer and lymphoma patients should be assessed yearly for signs and symptoms of heart failure, Dr. Larsen says. Heart failure signs and symptoms include shortness of breath, fatigue, feelings of weakness, swelling in the legs or abdomen, irregular heartbeat, rapid weight gain, and pressure or heaviness in the chest while lying flat.

Dr. Larsen will present the study, "Short and Long Term Risk of Congestive Heart Failure in Breast Cancer and Lymphoma Patients Compared to Controls: An Epidemiologic Study," on March 10 at 9:30 a.m. EST at the American College of Cardiology's 67th Annual Scientific Session in Orlando, Florida.
-end-
About the Rochester Epidemiology Project

The Rochester Epidemiology Project is a collaboration of clinics, hospitals, and other medical and dental care facilities in southern Minnesota and western Wisconsin. It was founded by Mayo Clinic and Olmsted Medical Center in 1966 in Olmsted County, Minnesota. The collaboration now includes Olmsted County Public Health Services as its first public health member and stretches across 27 counties. This collaboration and sharing of medical information makes this area of Minnesota and Wisconsin one of the few places where true population-based research can be accomplished. Learn more about the Rochester Epidemiology Project.

About Mayo Clinic

Mayo Clinic is a nonprofit organization committed to clinical practice, education and research, providing expert, comprehensive care to everyone who needs healing. Learn more about Mayo Clinic. Visit the Mayo Clinic News Network.

Mayo Clinic

Related Breast Cancer Articles:

Breast cancer: AI predicts which pre-malignant breast lesions will progress to advanced cancer
New research at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio, could help better determine which patients diagnosed with the pre-malignant breast cancer commonly as stage 0 are likely to progress to invasive breast cancer and therefore might benefit from additional therapy over and above surgery alone.
Partial breast irradiation effective treatment option for low-risk breast cancer
Partial breast irradiation produces similar long-term survival rates and risk for recurrence compared with whole breast irradiation for many women with low-risk, early stage breast cancer, according to new clinical data from a national clinical trial involving researchers from The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center - Arthur G.
Breast screening linked to 60 per cent lower risk of breast cancer death in first 10 years
Women who take part in breast screening have a significantly greater benefit from treatments than those who are not screened, according to a study of more than 50,000 women.
More clues revealed in link between normal breast changes and invasive breast cancer
A research team, led by investigators from Georgetown Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center, details how a natural and dramatic process -- changes in mammary glands to accommodate breastfeeding -- uses a molecular process believed to contribute to survival of pre-malignant breast cells.
Breast tissue tumor suppressor PTEN: A potential Achilles heel for breast cancer cells
A highly collaborative team of researchers at the Medical University of South Carolina and Ohio State University report in Nature Communications that they have identified a novel pathway for connective tissue PTEN in breast cancer cell response to radiotherapy.
Computers equal radiologists in assessing breast density and associated breast cancer risk
Automated breast-density evaluation was just as accurate in predicting women's risk of breast cancer, found and not found by mammography, as subjective evaluation done by radiologists, in a study led by researchers at UC San Francisco and Mayo Clinic.
Blood test can effectively rule out breast cancer, regardless of breast density
A new study published in PLOS ONE demonstrates that Videssa® Breast, a multi-protein biomarker blood test for breast cancer, is unaffected by breast density and can reliably rule out breast cancer in women with both dense and non-dense breast tissue.
Study shows influence of surgeons on likelihood of removal of healthy breast after breast cancer dia
Attending surgeons can have a strong influence on whether a patient undergoes contralateral prophylactic mastectomy after a diagnosis of breast cancer, according to a study published by JAMA Surgery.
Young breast cancer patients undergoing breast conserving surgery see improved prognosis
A new analysis indicates that breast cancer prognoses have improved over time in young women treated with breast conserving surgery.
Does MRI plus mammography improve detection of new breast cancer after breast conservation therapy?
A new article published by JAMA Oncology compares outcomes for combined mammography and MRI or ultrasonography screenings for new breast cancers in women who have previously undergone breast conservation surgery and radiotherapy for breast cancer initially diagnosed at 50 or younger.
More Breast Cancer News and Breast Cancer Current Events

Trending Science News

Current Coronavirus (COVID-19) News

Top Science Podcasts

We have hand picked the top science podcasts of 2020.
Now Playing: TED Radio Hour

Uncharted
There's so much we've yet to explore–from outer space to the deep ocean to our own brains. This hour, Manoush goes on a journey through those uncharted places, led by TED Science Curator David Biello.
Now Playing: Science for the People

#556 The Power of Friendship
It's 2020 and times are tough. Maybe some of us are learning about social distancing the hard way. Maybe we just are all a little anxious. No matter what, we could probably use a friend. But what is a friend, exactly? And why do we need them so much? This week host Bethany Brookshire speaks with Lydia Denworth, author of the new book "Friendship: The Evolution, Biology, and Extraordinary Power of Life's Fundamental Bond". This episode is hosted by Bethany Brookshire, science writer from Science News.
Now Playing: Radiolab

Dispatch 2: Every Day is Ignaz Semmelweis Day
It began with a tweet: "EVERY DAY IS IGNAZ SEMMELWEIS DAY." Carl Zimmer – tweet author, acclaimed science writer and friend of the show – tells the story of a mysterious, deadly illness that struck 19th century Vienna, and the ill-fated hero who uncovered its cure ... and gave us our best weapon (so far) against the current global pandemic. This episode was reported and produced with help from Bethel Habte and Latif Nasser. Support Radiolab today at Radiolab.org/donate.