Higher Mortality Rate Post-Heart Surgery for Cancer Survivors

American Heart AssociationThey’ve survived cancer only to be felled by heart problems years later. According to a recent study reported in Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association, individuals having undergone radiation to treat cancer in the past may have a worse prognosis following heart surgery than non-cancer patients who undergo the same surgery.

The study followed 2 groups of patients of similar age, gender and type who underwent major heart surgery. In the ensuing 8 years, 55% of the group with a history of cancer passed away, while in the non-cancer group only 28% died. Based on these results, researchers suggest that doctors should explore alternative treatment strategies for cardiac damage resulting from radiation treatment, as many of these individuals don’t have a great recovery rate after surgery.

12. April 2013 by Ruth Folger Weiss
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