If you are a patient with cancer and have heart problems , or you are a physician who needs to refer a patient for cardiac care, then you may know that help for these conditions is hard to find. Make an appointment or refer a patient.
MedStar Heart & Vascular Institute offers the first cardio-oncology program in the Greater Baltimore/Washington, D.C., metropolitan area.
Cardio-oncology is the intersection of heart conditions in patients who have been treated for cancer. Cardiologists can assess patients for potential risk of developing heart conditions if patients take certain types of cancer drugs, or following radiation treatment to the chest. They also help oncologists protect their patients during treatment by closely watching the heart and recognizing heart trouble early in treatment.
Cardio-Oncology Program at MedStar Heart & Vascular Institute
Certain cancer drugs can weaken the heart or cause abnormal rhythms. We designed our Cardio-Oncology Program to provide cancer patients with excellent, multidisciplinary care. We combine advanced imaging and treatment protocols with a knowledgeable team of oncologists and cardiologists working together.
Goals of our cardio-oncology program
Our program aims to:
- Ensure better outcomes for patients with cancer and cardiac issues
- Provide earlier detection of cardiac toxic side effects from cancer treatments
- Prevent or reduce further cardiac damage—and when possible reverse it
- Monitor patients with potential cardiac issues who are receiving cancer treatments
- Better understand cardiac issues in patients with cancer by participating in research studies
- Eliminate cardiac disease as a barrier to effective cancer therapy
Care for cancer and cardiac patients
Some chemotherapy and cancer treatments can worsen, or even cause heart problems in patients with cancer. Some patients also experience heart conditions after radiation treatment to the chest.
We offer a program designed to evaluate, diagnose and manage heart problems for patients who are being treated for cancer or who have already completed treatment. Our physicians can also determine if a patient with cancer may be at risk for developing a heart condition before or during cancer treatment. Further, we are doing important research in order to avoid drug complications in the future.
Some patients with heart trouble or who are at risk for developing heart conditions because of certain types of cancer treatment, need specialized care.
At our Cardio-Oncology Program, our physicians are cardiologists who use advanced imaging to diagnose and evaluate a patient’s risk of developing a heart condition due to certain types of cancer treatments. Our cardiologists also treat patients who are undergoing cancer treatment, but have developed heart conditions, in the hope of protecting their heart function as much as possible.
Evaluation of cardiac risk and heart conditions during cancer treatment
We use the latest tests and diagnostic criteria to help patients understand their risk factors for heart failure and other associated conditions. These include:
- Echo strain imaging
- Cardiac biomarkers
- Cardiac MRI
This state-of-the-art imaging allows our cardiologists a full view of the heart’s function, giving them critical real time information that helps them evaluate your potential risk for developing a cardiac condition while undergoing cancer treatment. Your diagnosis also reveals if there is a way to receive these drugs safely, without damaging your heart.
If you already have a heart condition, these advanced images provide important information for the best possible treatment.
If you have heart damage due to certain types of cancer drugs, or radiation treatment to the chest, we develop a specialized plan for you. Side by side with your oncologists, our cardiologists discuss your heart function and possible treatments, including other types of medication that may help and not interfere with your cancer treatment. We may also discuss other alternatives to your cancer treatment, including the use of drugs that may not affect your heart.
As an academic medical center, we are training tomorrow’s leaders in this field. The top experts in cardiology and oncology are doing cutting-edge cardio-oncology research, to build better ways to evaluate, protect and treat cancer patients who are at risk for cardiac conditions.
Specially trained cardiologists with an interest in cancer treatment
Our cardiologists have a special interest in how cancer treatments may affect the heart. Our program includes a multidisciplinary approach where our cardiologists and oncologists (cancer physicians) work together to provide comprehensive care. Meet our physicians.
For referring physicians
If you have a cancer patient with cardiac issues, then please visit our For Referring Physicians page.
Make an appointment
Please contact us by calling 202-877-3627. You may also send an email to [email protected].