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J Am Coll Cardiol. 2007 Oct 9;50(15):1435-41. Epub 2007 Sep 24.

Early breast cancer therapy and cardiovascular injury.

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Department of Surgery, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, North Carolina 27710, USA.


Although recent advances in curative-intent therapies are beginning to produce significant survival gains in early breast cancer, these improvements may ultimately be attenuated by increased risk of long-term cardiovascular mortality. This paper reviews emerging evidence on the cardiovascular effects of breast cancer adjuvant therapy and proposes a new entity that we have labeled the "multiple-hit" hypothesis. The evidence that lifestyle modification, especially exercise therapy, may mitigate these adverse effects is also reviewed. These issues are of considerable practical importance for cardiovascular clinicians, as identification and intervention in those at high risk for cardiovascular complications may reduce a major cause of mortality in women with early breast cancer.

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