Protecting hearts from chemo

Dr. Susan DentRecent chemotherapies have greatly improved the chances of surviving cancer. However, the very drugs that extend cancer patients’ lives can often damage their hearts. Cardiac disease is now the second leading cause of death among cancer survivors.

Medical Oncologist Dr. Susan Dent wants to change that. She created the first cardiac oncology program in Canada to focus on heart damage (cardiotoxicity) that results from cancer treatment. The Ottawa Hospital’s Cardiac Oncology Program looks at ways to detect and prevent cardiac complications while delivering cancer treatment to patients. It involves health-care providers, such as cardiologists, oncologists and pharmacists. Since it opened in 2008, over 1,000 patients have been referred to the program. Ongoing analysis of these patients will help guide cardiac care and optimize the outcomes for cancer patients.

Hear Dr. Dent talk about her heart health research

 Read more about the Cardiac Oncology Program at The Ottawa Hospital

Dr. Dent established the Canadian Cardiac Oncology Network, bringing together cancer and cardiology stakeholders to better understand how cancer treatments affect the heart in order to prevent cardiotoxicity. 

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