Cardiotoxicity Risk Factors

Several different risk factors can increase a patient's likelihood of developing cardiotoxicity from their cancer treatment. For instance, while approximately 30 percent of all cancer patients develop cardiovascular complications as a result of their treatment, cardiologic side effects are most common among patients who were treated for breast cancer, leukemia or lymphoma.

Other risk factors that can increase a person's risk of cardiotoxic complications include:

  • Being younger than age 18 or older than age 65 at the time of treatment
  • Being female
  • Receiving radiation therapy to the head or neck
  • Receiving increasing doses of anthracyclines, a potent class of chemotherapy drugs that includes doxorubicin, epirubicin and daunorubicin
  • Receiving certain targeted therapies, such as Herceptin (for breast cancer) or Nilotinib (for chronic myelogenous leukemia)

While not every patient who has one or more of these risk factors will experience cardiotoxic complications, Moffitt Cancer Center's Cardio-Oncology Program can provide comprehensive risk assessment and monitoring services as a proactive measure. Using technologies such as 3D echocardiograms, we can assess a patient’s cardiovascular function to determine if complications, such as arrhythmias, fibrosis or other issues are beginning to develop. We also offer baseline testing for patients who have an elevated risk due to their biological sex or age, or who are planning to participate in a treatment that could increase their risk of future cardiotoxic complications. Clinical trials are also underway to help identify and evaluate ways to counteract cardiotoxicity risk factors; Moffitt can help you determine if you qualify for any of these studies.

Our all-inclusive clinic treats patients with a wide range of diagnoses, including cancers that are now in remission. To discuss your individual risk factors with a member of Moffitt's Cardio-Oncology Program, call 813-745-2718 or submit a new patient registration form online; referrals are not required.