How can radiation therapy cause heart disease?

on . Posted in DoseVue

RADIATION therapy is a powerful tool for improving the survival rate of those diagnosed with certain forms of cancer. But the dozens of doses of high-energy radiation involved carry a risk, as healthy cells are zapped along with cancerous ones. Many short-term and long-term consequences are well known, including an increased risk of developing new cancers decades after successful treatment. But improvements in early diagnoses, chemotherapy and surgery (as well as, lately, immunology) have combined with radiation to produce larger numbers of cancer survivors living beyond the ten-year mark from the end of treatment. This has brought a previously suspected link into sharper focus: radiation-induced heart disease (RIHD). On July 16th a study called for higher level of cardiovascular screening in cancer survivors. But how can radiation therapy cause heart disease?

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(Source: G.F. |