• Pre-existing heart condition

    Asked by Cherrock1 on Saturday, March 23, 2019

    Pre-existing heart condition

    Has anyone been through chemo, having had serious Pre-existing heart issues? If so how was it monitored? Did you have further damage to your heart? How are you doing. Sweetheart starting chemo this week. I am quite concerned. He had a heart attack about 10 yrs ago, a (thankfully) mild stroke three years ago (with mild aphasia) , and an arortic valve replacement two years ago(some pump head). He still has a fib. I’m worried about further cardiomyopathy, stroke, and that chemo brain will be ongoing.

    3 Answers from the Community

    • carm's Avatar

      Hello, I'm an oncology nurse and there are some chemotherapies that are cardiotoxic. If your doctor recommended one that is, they will check your heart before you start it to get a baseline ejection fraction. If it is a risk, there are other alternativeslike biologic or targeted therapies. I have had many patients with the same issue and they do quite well. I hope this helps.

      4 months ago
    • SkyFlyer's Avatar

      My Mom had a heart attack in 2012, leaving 1/3 of her heart damaged. Her echo showed a 45% ejection fraction. She started chemo, then had some issues. She wound up getting a pacemaker because of tachy/brady. She finished 1 round, then started another. 3 days after the 1st treatment, she had trouble breathing and pain in her chest. We told the doctor, but he said he didn't know that it was necessarily from the chemo. Treatments continued, and the same symptoms after each one. Next to the last treatment, symptoms came on sooner and were more severe. When we saw the doctor, I told him I didn't think she should have the last treatment. He agreed and said she should take a break. In a few days, I wound up taking her to the ER. Turns out she had lost another third of her heart function, and ejection fraction was only 25%. She had water in and under her lungs, so basically the chemo was drowning her. She's now on fluid pills and doing better. There are definitely signs to watch for with the heart, but I didn't know about them yet. Don't depend on a Dr to catch it. Speak up if you have concerns!

      4 months ago
    • Cherrock1's Avatar

      Thank you Carm, one of the drugs recommend was advised not to use by both his cardiologist and oncologist.

      4 months ago

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