Community Health Network opens first-of-its kind dedicated Cardio-Oncology Clinic
Community Heart and Vascular Hospital is first hospital in Indiana to offer a multi-disciplinary program for heart testing and management of patients undergoing cancer treatment
Indianapolis, IN---Thousands of Hoosiers receive chemotherapy treatments each day as they fight for their lives against a variety of cancers. What they may not know is that those life-saving treatments may cause damage to their hearts. Understanding the connection between heart disease and cancer treatments has driven Community Health Network to launch the first dedicated Cardio-Oncology Clinic in Indiana.
“Chemotherapy treatments are crucial to saving the life of a cancer patient,” said Sumeet Bhatia, M.D., medical oncologist at Community Health Network. “However, some of the drugs used in treatment can adversely affect the heart. Certain targeted medications have been linked to high blood pressure, abnormal heart rhythms and may increase the risk of blood clots or heart failure. At Community, we are taking proactive steps to take care of the heart while the patient is fighting cancer.”
According the Mayo Clinic, almost every chemotherapy drug has some effect on the cardiovascular system—and patients who are followed by a cardiologist specialized in treating cancer patients can prevent and reduce the negative effects of cancer-fighting drugs on the heart.
“We understand that dealing with cancer can be overwhelming,” said Rey Vivo, M.D., cardiologist at Community Heart and Vascular and a leader of the initiative. “We want to reassure patients that we have a program that can look after their heart health before, during and after they receive cancer treatment. Using cardiac imaging and biomarkers, we aim for early detection and treatment of potential cardio-toxicity from cancer therapy.”
Community’s Cardio-Oncology Clinic, located at Community Heart and Vascular Hospital on the campus of Community Hospital North, began seeing patients in January. Community’s cancer patients will receive initial heart assessment screenings at Community Cancer Center North. Those at risk will be seen in the dedicated Cardio-Oncology Clinic, where they will receive an individualized cardiac risk evaluation and treatment plan. Their care will be closely coordinated between cardiologists and oncologists throughout the duration of their treatment schedule.
About Community Health Network
Ranked among the nation’s most integrated healthcare systems, Community Health Network is Central Indiana’s leader in providing convenient access to exceptional healthcare services, where and when patients need them—in hospitals, health pavilions and doctor’s offices, as well as workplaces, schools and homes. As a non-profit health system with over 200 sites of care and affiliates throughout Central Indiana, Community’s full continuum of care integrates hundreds of physicians, specialty and acute care hospitals, surgery centers, home care services, MedChecks, behavioral health and employer health services. To learn more, visit eCommunity.com or call 800-777-7775.