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Cancer Diagnosis Increases Heart Risk

separator When people who have heart disease find out they have cancer, their risk for heart attack or other heart event more than doubles in the following six months, according to a recent report. The information was based on findings from the Framingham Heart Study. The report looked at data from 10,333 men and women.

These findings indicate that the shock of finding out you have cancer, something about cancer itself or a combination of the two factors are the cause of the increased risk. One theory is that tumors may produce a substance that leads to an increase in clogging of the arteries. But it’s also simply possible that the shock of a cancer diagnosis is enough to trigger a heart attack in a body that is already vulnerable.

People at risk (and their loved ones) should be acutely aware of the signs of heart attack all the time, but especially after a cancer diagnosis. The signs include:

  • Indigestion
  • Chest pain
  • Pain that radiates to the arms, neck, shoulders or jaw
  • Shortness of breath
  • Weak or fast pulse
  • Sweating
  • Gray color
  • Nausea or upset stomach

American Heart Association’s 44th Annual conference on Heart Disease.
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