People receiving certain types of cancer therapy have a two- to threefold higher risk of developing heart failure than the general population. The Heart Failure Policy Network (HFPN) has launched Spotlight on cancer treatment and heart failure, which highlights the need for integrated care and collaboration between oncology and cardiology services, and emphasises the important roles of primary care physicians and specialist nurses.
It is essential that a person’s heart failure risk is assessed before cancer treatment begins and continuously monitored thereafter. Cardio-oncology services are beginning to emerge across Europe to support people who are currently receiving or have received cancer treatment. These services strive to provide best-practice care for people at risk of heart failure. But too often, cardiac monitoring is undertaken inconsistently, missing the opportunity to prevent severe heart damage and improve outcomes. Decision-makers need to address the growing burden of heart damage in people who have received cancer treatment.
The Spotlight on cancer treatment and heart failure proposes five actions to improve care in this area:
The report was based on interviews with a Project Advisory Group comprising patient advocates and healthcare professionals with extensive experience in heart failure and cancer.
Find out more on our Spotlight series page.