Healthier Me: Breast Cancer Radiation & Heart Risks
In Thursday's Healthier Me, women who undergo radiation to treat breast cancer may be at risk for heart problems later in life.
An Oxford University study found that radiation can damage the arteries, making them prone to harden, clog, and trigger a heart attack. The risk comes from any amount of radiation -- even the lower doses used now.
These adverse effects begin five years after treatment and lasts for decades, but researchers say women should not avoid radiation, because it significantly improves cancer survival, and the heart risk is relatively small.
Radiation patients can improve their heart health by keeping their weight, blood pressure, and cholesterol under control.
This study was led by researchers at University of Oxford and published in the "New England Journal of Medicine"