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Doctors warn of heart risk from some breast cancer therapies

February 1, 2018

Health experts are stepping up warnings that certain breast cancer treatments may harm the heart.

Doctors stress that not all therapies carry this risk, and their benefits for fighting cancer often outweigh the potential harm.

In its first statement on the topic, the American Heart Association on Thursday said women should discuss the potential effects on the heart of any breast cancer treatments they’re considering. Side effects can include abnormal rhythms, valve problems or heart failure, where the heart weakens over time and can’t pump effectively.

There are more than 3 million breast cancer survivors in the United States, but heart disease is far more common and both are threats to women’s lives.

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