Contemporary anticancer therapy and radiation treatments have greatly improved the survival of patients with cancer. However, cancer patients may incur significant cardiovascular side effects directly-related to their cancer treatments and/or develop a higher risk of cardiovascular disease or complications as a result of some cancer therapies sometime after their treatment. As cancer treatment improves, it is important to address potential cardiovascular side effects, underlying cardiovascular disease, and cardiovascular risk factors in many cancer patients.
Our Cardio-Oncology program is a joint initiative between the Maine Medical Center Cardiovascular Institute and MaineHealth Cancer Care Network, which brings together nearly 300 of the most talented cancer care providers in northern New England, with the support of the Harold Alfond Foundation.
Offering Leading-Edge Cardiovascular Care for Cancer Patients
Our cardiologists and oncologists work together to predict, monitor, and manage the effect that cancer treatments have on the heart and cardiovascular system. Early cardiac testing and regular monitoring can help prevent and/or mitigate cardiovascular complications for cancer patients. Early identification can lead to early treatment of cardiac conditions and allow patients to minimize any interruption in their cancer therapy. Services include individual heart health management as well as cancer survivorship care.
Prior to cancer treatment
A comprehensive evaluation, combining diagnostic testing and optimal medical management, can minimize complications during cancer treatment.
During cancer treatment
For cancer patients with hypertension, arrhythmias, poor myocardial function (e.g., various grades of heart failure), and other cardiovascular disease conditions, we assist in optimizing the management of cancer conditions during treatment.
Managing complications from therapy
Patients who are receiving chemotherapy or those who have previously completed chemotherapy or radiation therapy can have symptoms related to cardiovascular disease. These symptoms can be managed with prompt recognition.
Managing long-term risk
Our program offers a cancer risk assessment for survivors to determine an optimal management plan.
Managing new chemotherapies
Clinical and pre-clinical studies have shown that some new chemotherapies can damage the heart. We use diagnostic imaging, blood pressure monitoring, and cardiac telemetry to identify potential concerns.