10 top tips for heart health

These tips will help to keep your heart healthy before, during and after cancer treatment.

  1. Before you start cancer treatment, tell your cancer doctor if you already have a heart problem. You should also tell them if you have risk factors such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol or diabetes, or if your close family have any of these.
  2. Talk to your doctors about any heart medicines they give you. It might be helpful to write down the medicines.
  3. Do not stop taking the medicines given to you unless you are told to. If you have side effects, talk to your doctor.
  4. Ask your cancer doctor if your cancer treatment is likely to affect your heart. If it is, find out how they will monitor your heart.
  5. When you finish cancer treatment, ask your cancer doctor if you will need regular heart check-ups.
  6. Go to your heart follow up appointments, even if you don’t have any heart symptoms.
  7. Know the warning signs of heart problems. If you get any of them, contact your GP.
  8. If you have risk factors for heart problems, ask your GP or nurse for more information and advice about reducing your risk.
  9. If your lifestyle means you are at a greater risk of heart problems, make some changes.
  10. Get more information and support about keeping your heart healthy or understanding your heart condition from the British Heart Foundation. Call the Heart Helpline on 0300 330 3311 (Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm). If you need more information about cancer and its treatment, contact Macmillan Cancer Support on 0808 808 00 00 (Monday to Friday, 9am to 8pm).

I had to deal with my heart condition before I could continue cancer treatment. It was an anxious time, but my teams worked together to do what was best.


Back to Looking after your heart

Heart problems

Different types of heart problem can develop if part of the heart is not working properly.

Warning signs of heart problems

If you have any warning signs of heart problems, tell your doctor straight away. Early treatment can prevent further damage.