Appointment New Patient Appointment or 214-645-8300

Vlad Zaha, M.D., Ph.D. Answers Questions On Chemotherapy Side Effects

Vlad Zaha, M.D., Ph.D. Answers Questions On: Chemotherapy Side Effects

As an onco-cardiologist, how do you approach chemotherapy side effects?

While chemotherapy can have a number of short-term and long-term side effects, my primary focus is to recognize the potential side effects of chemotherapy on the heart and work to prevent or mitigate them. It’s my job to recognize the patient’s risk to determine how his or her heart might react to chemotherapy and radiation and to help the patient recognize which side effects are serious and which are temporary or transitory.

What side effects does chemotherapy have on the heart?

Chemotherapy acts as a toxin that kills cancer cells. But as a side effect, it can sometimes damage the heart muscle, causing the heart to have trouble pumping enough blood to supply the body with oxygen.

How do you prevent chemotherapy side effects to the heart?

I work closely with each patient’s oncology or hematology team to try to protect the heart while an appropriate therapy is used to treat the cancer. This takes a complete understanding of each patient’s risk profile and an ongoing surveillance of his or her heart during and after treatment.