After Cancer Treatment


Anchor lead: How can long term survivors of cancer thrive? Elizabeth Tracey reports

Women who’ve survived breast cancer for five to ten years are at higher risk for heart and liver diseases, a recent study found. William Nelson, director of the Kimmel Cancer Center at Johns Hopkins, says there are many strategies underway to try to help.

Nelson: There are two general approaches I think to complications related to treatment, and one of is can treatment be altered so that it maintains its effectiveness but less likely to lead to a long term complication? Now that we have people living a very long time after a cancer diagnosis these long term considerations are more important. The other is if we can’t ameliorate those by changing the treatment up front, can we be aware to use early detection, to use the right tools whether it’s cholesterol lowering or what have you, to reduce the risk of future problems.   :31

Nelson says engaging your primary care physician in vigilance related to possible long term consequences of cancer treatment is key, as well as lifestyle interventions such as exercise and a heart healthy diet. At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.