Heart Health and What it Means for Cancer

91702758Cancer is considered as one of the most deadly diseases affecting people around the world.  Cancer is strongly associated with specific lifestyles, as well as particular genetic mutations that may significantly increase cancer risk.

Scientists and researchers have been aggressively conducting investigations on methods for early detection of cancer, as well as identifying effective drugs that may prevent the abnormal cell division and spread of cancer cells throughout the body.

The Association Between Heart Health and Cancer Risk

A recent medical report published in the journal Future Oncology discussed the association between heart health and cancer risk and treatment outcomes.  For decades, heart health has been considered as a separate medical entity from cancer.  However, the authors of the recent medical report has shown that maintaining good heart health may actually decrease the chances of developing cancer by producing essential proteins that prevent the abnormal cell division of cells in specific organs of the body.

Monitoring Heart Health Becomes Increasingly Important

For example, the cells of the heart, called cardiomyocytes, produce chemicals called cytokines when an initial damage to the heart occurs.  It is possible to assess heart health on a regular basis to monitor the level of cytokines in an individual; a low cytokine level will indicate that no damages currently occur in the body.  On the other hand, an individual with cellular or tissue damage in a specific organ will generally show a higher level of cytokines in the blood and this will suggest that the person requires medical treatment for a specific disease, including that of cancer.

Watching the Heart Carefully During Treatment

The report also discussed that monitoring various chemicals produced by the heart during treatment of cancer patients allows them to measure the response of the patient to chemotherapeutic drugs.  A high level of heart-specific biomarkers may indicate that the drug used in the treatment may be toxic to the patient’s heart or cardiotoxic.  Using less toxic yet equally effective anti-cancer drugs should then be administered to the patient.

The information provided in the recent medical report is very useful for both physicians and patients because it allows us to understand that maintaining good heart health may also reduce cancer risk.  Following a healthy lifestyle, including that of consuming sufficient amounts of fruits and vegetables and engaging in regular exercise, may be beneficial to cardiovascular health by allowing cardiomyocytes to effectively screen for cellular and tissue damages within the body.  For patients undergoing chemotherapeutic treatment, the heart is usually monitored by physicians to determine if the patient is well responding to the administered drugs without any adverse side effects.

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Health-centered organizations have been actively campaigning for schemes that would reduce cancer risk and the recent medical report emphasizes the need for all of us to know that this deadly disease may be prevented by maintaining good health, especially that relating to the heart.  This report increases our awareness that the heart controls a wide range of physiologic functions, including that of preventing the development of malignancies and other major medical diseases.  Our previous notion that heart diseases are totally independent of cancer incidence will now change; this association may also assist us in designing our own personalized healthy lifestyles.

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