Chapter 1 - Cardiac complications of cancer and anti-cancer treatment

Neoplastic diseases can be associated with severe, sometimes fatal, cardiac complications such as pericardial effusion and cardiac tamponade. In addition, several anti-cancer agents can induce potentially irreversible cardiac dysfunction, and the development of targeted therapies has recently widened the cardiotoxic spectrum of antineoplastic drugs.

Increasing the chance of survival as a consequence of improvements in cancer diagnosis and treatment highlights the relevance of this topic, since cardiac complications can adversely affect survival and quality of life independently of cancer prognosis. In this chapter, we briefly review the cardiac complications of both neoplastic diseases and cancer treatments, describing their incidence and aetiology, and focusing on strategies to evaluate, treat and prevent this wide spectrum of disorders.

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Last update: 02 June 2016