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Although cancers and heart diseases have started to occur at much earlier ages in the last 20 years, they still occur more commonly after the age of 50 and reach their highest level at older ages. Considering that in our country, which has the youngest population among European countries, these young people will pass into the elderly group in the next 20-30 years and our elderly population will increase significantly, it is obvious that chronic diseases such as cancer and heart diseases will also explode. The probability of these two diseases, which are common in similar age groups, to be seen in the same patient, is therefore quite high. Recent research on cancer shows that some drugs and radiation treatments used in treatment can cause cardiovascular problems. Therefore, in order to increase the success of cancer treatment and reduce the risk of life, it is of great importance to evaluate heart health while planning cancer treatment. In the Oncocardiology department, which fulfills the requirements according to the principle of protecting the heart health of cancer patients; We provide services to reduce vital events, from the risk of anesthesia during surgical treatment to the side effects of chemotherapy and radiotherapy, and to provide our patients with a longer and higher quality life.

What kind of system is implemented at Anadolu Health Center?

Anadolu Health Center; Cancer surgery is frequently performed, the medical oncology department works intensively, radiotherapy is successfully applied with advanced devices, and hematological oncology and bone marrow transplantation departments work actively; Therefore, it is a center where all kinds of cancer treatments are frequently applied. While previously there was case-by-case follow-up treatment and oncology-cardiology communication without cardiology-oncology collaboration; Since the last quarter of 2012, cancer patients have been systematically followed up and treated by the oncocardiology department. The most important issue at this stage is to establish solid communication between oncologists and cardiologists. In this sense, in-house meetings are held to ensure good communication in the outpatient clinic environment, joint visits for inpatients, council meetings and information sharing, identification of risky patients and planning their follow-up, and each patient is evaluated individually when necessary. In addition to the follow-up of outpatients, inpatients are also closely monitored for heart complications.

What effect does cancer treatment have on the heart?

Thanks to new powerful chemotherapeutic drugs, targeted treatments, advanced radiation therapy devices such as Cyberknife, and easier and lower-risk surgical interventions such as robotic surgery, many cancer patients can recover, have a better quality of life, and live longer. Providing these gains with high-dose, powerful drugs that have more side effects also increases the problems associated with treatment in other organs. One of the most serious undesirable consequences is heart problems caused by chemotherapy drugs. These side effects are called cardiotoxicity. Although many types of cancer, especially breast cancer, testicular cancer, and Hodgkin’s lymphoma, can be treated at a high rate, especially when detected at an early stage, heart problems caused by treatment in some of these patients cause a decrease in long and comfortable life expectancy.

How is oncocardiology developing in the world?

Collaboration between cardiology and oncology is vital in the successful and, more importantly, safe treatment of the patient and in ensuring a long and quality life. Since the last 2-3 years, in the treatment of these diseases, which are often together due to the similar age group, we have been working on reducing the risk of surgery, especially before cancer surgery, reducing the harm of drugs to the heart during chemotherapy, ensuring early diagnosis and treatment, and determining the effects of radiotherapy, especially applied to the chest area, on the heart. In order to prevent and reduce cancer, systematic departments under the name of oncocardiology began to be established in cancer centers. For example; Many important institutions such as MD Anderson, Sloan Kettering, Vanderbilt, Cleveland Clinic, Harvard, American Cancer Center, European Oncology Institute are actively providing services with their oncocardiology departments. Cardiology Specialist Prof. at Anadolu Health Center since 2012. Dr. The Oncocardiology Department, established under the leadership of Ertan Ökmen, works on protecting the hearts of cancer patients during their treatment and treating existing heart problems.

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