The Cardio-Oncology Program at Tufts Medical Center in Boston, MA specializes in providing expert care to patients who may be at an increased risk for cardiovascular conditions due to their cancer therapies. Our leading cardiologists work closely with physicians from Tufts MC’s Division of Hematology/Oncology to prevent, oversee and treat cardiovascular disease in cancer patients and survivors—to minimize cardiovascular risks and treat cardiac toxicity to ensure overall long-term health.
Cardiovascular complications that may stem from cancer treatment include:
- Heart failure or cardiomyopathy caused by chemotherapeutic drugs
- Premature coronary and valvular disease caused by chest radiation
- Hypertension caused by pharmaceutical drugs such a tyrosine kinase inhibitors
Cardiac services for cancer patients and survivors
Whether you have been recently diagnosed with cancer, are currently undergoing cancer therapy and being watched for the development of cardiac effects, or have completed cancer therapy and are now being monitored for cardiac effects—a Cardio-Oncologist can work with you to minimize your risks or treat any active cardiac disease.
Our team offers the full range of cardio-oncology services, including:
- Risk Assessment Before Treatment – All patients prior to chemotherapy and/or surgery are given a cardiology risk assessment with recommendations about strategies to minimize any potential cardiac toxicity.
- Pre-Existing Cardiovascular Disease – Patients with known cardiovascular disease are watched carefully as they undergo cancer therapy with treatment of risk factors or active disease.
- Newly Developed Cardiovascular Issues – Patients who develop cardiac complications during their cancer treatment—due to chemotherapy, radiation or surgery—are given an individualized treatment plan.
- Survivor Long Term Care – Patients who are no longer undergoing "active" cancer treatment but who received potentially cardio-toxic chemotherapy or radiation are monitored to allow for treatment initiation at the earliest sign of a cardiac problem.
Cardiac evaluation, care planning and follow-up
After a referral to our Cardiac-Oncology Program, the initial appointment typically takes 30-45 minutes, depending on your unique needs.
Based on that assessment, you may need an echocardiogram and/or basic lab tests to determine if you are, or will be, at risk for cardiovascular complications. Other possible tests could also include: stress tests, cardiac catheterization or vascular ultrasounds.
Follow-up appointments will vary, again depending on your unique needs. You may need only one visit, or require a long-term management plan for issues such as cardiomyopathy, heart failure, valvular disease or coronary artery disease.