When it comes to treating cancer with radiation, many patients are concerned about the long-term effects the treatment will have on their heart. For cancers near this vital organ, traditional x-ray radiation can cause several cardiac health issues, including heart attacks, heart failure, and arrhythmias.1
Heart radiation from cancer treatment is especially worrisome for breast, lung, and esophageal cancer patients. If any part of the heart is exposed to radiation, the risk of heart disease is increased. Often, these cardiac side effects don’t appear until several years after the cancer treatment.
In this article, we’ll look at each of those cancers and identify the risk associated with radiation, as well as how proton therapy cancer treatment can help alleviate some of the concerns.