MANAGING CARDIOVASCULAR RISKS ASSOCIATED WITH PROSTATE AND BREAST CANCER
Written by , Article reviewed and edited by Dr. Fine M.D.
Published on 30 April 2021
Hormone Therapy is a highly effective means to treat various forms of cancer, especially Prostate Cancer and Breast Cancer. In spite of their effectiveness, however, these treatments come with their own long-term risks. The American Heart Association recently provided a statement regarding these risks in Circulation: Genomic and Precision Medicine.
For example, HRT Regimens designed to treat Prostate/Breast Cancer also increase the chance of dangerous cardiovascular dangers such as stroke and heart attack. According to the American Heart Association, these risks can be greatly mitigated with sufficient awareness and preliminary evaluation. This report offers updated information regarding the complications associated with various forms of Hormone Therapy. The report is designed to help medical specialists treat cancer effectively while managing the downstream risks associated with Hormone Replacement Therapy.
Breast and Prostate Cancer Treatments Improving
Breast Cancer is the most common kind of cancer in the United States, accounting for 30.3% of cancers in women. Among males, prostate cancer is the most common, at 21.5% of all male cancer diagnoses. Aside from skin cancer, most common cancers are associated in some way with hormones. As cancer therapies become more advanced, fewer patients succumb to the cancer itself. In fact, among those patients under HRT Treatment for hormone-dependent cancer, cardiovascular disease is the leading mortality risk.
Common Treatments for Breast and Prostate Cancer
Three of the most common Endocrine Treatments for cancer are Selective Estrogen Receptor Modulators, Aromatase Inhibitors, and Androgen Deprivation Therapy:
SERMs are designed to eliminate tumor development by preventing cancer cells from feeding off of Estrogen. These treatments allow Estrogen to act normally in other parts of the body like liver/bone tissue without acting on breast tissue. Two common SERMs are ralloxifene and tamoxifen.
Aromatase Inhibitors suppress the production of Estrogen and are commonly prescribed to women after menopause, especially high-risk patients. Letrozole, anastrozole, and exemestane are prominent examples of Aromatase Inhibitors.
Androgen Deprivation Therapy refers to treatments designed to treat prostate cancer by cutting off access to the fuel source of Testosterone. This category is more broad. Some prescriptions block Testosterone from Prostate Cancer Cells (and prostate cells themselves). Another option includes medications that suppress the hypothalamic/pituitary activity which triggers Testosterone production.
Cardiovascular Complications Associated with Cancer Treatment
Unfortunately, all of the treatments above can have negative consequences for the cardiovascular system. For example, Aromatase Inhibitors are known to increase heart attack and stroke risk, and Tamoxifen can lead to blood clots.
Because cancers can become resistant to certain treatments, sometimes patients have to change therapies for best results against the cancer. Unfortunately, while this improves cancer outcomes, it also further increases the odds of cardiovascular problems, including blood clots, arrhythmia, and high blood pressure.
In men, Androgen Deprivation Therapy causes them to experience the full gamut of issues associated with Low-T, including impaired glucose metabolism, increased body fat, and heightened triglyceride/cholesterol levels.
For all of the above treatments, the longer a patient is on the regimen, the greater the risks associated with the therapy. Researchers are investigating exactly how duration impacts risks. HRT Therapy for Cancer was riskiest for patients diagnosed with heart disease and those with multiple risk factors (including history of stroke/heart disease, smoking, high cholesterol, obesity, and high blood pressure).
The American Heart Association published this report to help doctors and patients understand the risks associated with Prostate/Breast Cancer Treatment and the cardiovascular precautions that should be taken to maximize outcomes for patients. In the near future, there will hopefully be official guidelines to help doctors navigate the heart risks associated with HRT-Based Cancer treatment. Any patient that could benefit from Hormone Therapy for Cancer should first be directed to a cardiologist for testing and consultation.