What is the association between breast cancer and cardiovascular disease (CVD)?

Updated: Feb 04, 2021
  • Author: Pavani Chalasani, MD, MPH; Chief Editor: John V Kiluk, MD, FACS  more...
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Cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk is increased in women with breast cancer. The increase is due in part to the cardiotoxic effects of some breast cancer treatments (eg, chemotherapy, radiotherapy, targeted therapy such as trastuzumab). In addition, breast cancer and CVD, share several risk factors, including smoking, obesity, and the typical Western diet. [82]

In older breast cancer survivors, risk for the development of the CVD risk factors obesity and dyslipidemia is higher than the risk of tumor recurrence. In the population of older postmenopausal women, breast cancer survivors are at higher risk for mortality attributable to CVD, compared with women without a history of breast cancer. The increased risk becomes manifest approximately 7 years after the diagnosis of breast cancer.  [82]

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