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Cardiovascular Comorbidity Common in Male Breast Cancer Patients

Of 24 patients, three developed tachyarrhythmias while undergoing treatment; two had decrease in ejection fraction during treatment

diagram showing a heart muscle

MONDAY, Jan. 25, 2021 (HealthDay News) -- Male breast cancer patients have a high prevalence of cardiovascular comorbidities, according to a study to be presented at the Advancing the Cardiovascular Care of the Oncology Patient conference organized by the American College of Cardiology and held virtually from Feb. 5 to 6.

Researchers from the Georgetown Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer and MedStar Washington Hospital Center in Washington, D.C., conducted a retrospective chart review of male breast cancer patients to examine the prevalence of cardiovascular comorbidities. Changes in ejection fraction were analyzed using serial cardiac imaging studies. Data were included for 24 male breast cancer patients aged 38 to 79 years.

The researchers found that 19 of the patients had invasive ductal carcinoma, while ductal carcinoma in situ was identified in five patients. Of the 24 patients, six and three were diagnosed with a second and third malignancy, respectively. Twenty-one patients (88 percent) were overweight, and 14 and 13 (58 and 54 percent) had hypertension and hyperlipidemia, respectively. Two patients had preexisting tachyarrhythmias, and three developed tachyarrhythmias during treatment. Two patients had a decrease in ejection fraction while undergoing treatment. Two patients developed heart failure following treatment.

"Similar to the pretreatment consultation with radiation oncology, breast surgery, and medical oncology, an upfront cardiovascular risk assessment provides greater comfort and further minimizes psychological surprise with cardiovascular complications going into cancer treatment," a coauthor said in a statement.

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