A cardiologist at Duke University is planning research to into how to protect breast cancer survivors from another health problem -- heart disease.
Drugs called anthracyclines are a staple of breast chemotherapy staple despite a well-known risk -- they weaken some women's hearts. What's new is research suggesting the drugs work no better than safer alternatives for most women.
Other factors play a role as well, including chest radiation, the weight gain that plagues many survivors, physical inactivity during treatment and stress.
Treatment advances are enabling more women than ever before to beat breast cancer, and some 2.4 million survivors are alive today.
Now a move is under way to determine just how many women are
vulnerable to heart disease because of their cancer battle, and how
to help them.
Dr. Pamela Douglas says that in the process of curing breast cancer, women have been exposed to what she calls a sequence of nasty things.