Heart health and planning cancer treatment

Before you have cancer treatment, your cancer doctor will explain your treatment plan. They will tell you about any possible benefits and disadvantages of the treatment, including any possible risks to your heart.

Your cancer doctor may check your heart health. They will ask whether you have any heart problems or risk factors such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol or diabetes. They will ask what treatments you have had or are having for these conditions. If you are not sure about this information or can’t remember the name of a condition or treatment, it should be in your medical notes. Your cancer doctor might also speak to your GP or cardiologist (heart doctor).

You may also have tests to check your heart health. For some cancer treatments, you may have these tests even if you don’t have heart problems. Tests can be repeated during and after treatment to check for any heart changes.

Making your decision

Making a decision about your cancer treatment can be complicated. For many people, the possible benefits of cancer treatment are greater than the risk of possible heart problems later in life. But it is your decision.

Your doctor and nurse will give you information and support to help you weigh up the benefits and risks of having treatment. It is important to understand this information before you decide what is right for you. You might find it helps to make a list of the questions you want to ask. Some people take a relative or friend with them to help them remember what was said.

You will normally have time to think about your decision, and another appointment with your doctor or nurse to discuss it.

My team gave me the best information to help me make my decision. They explained everything in a way I could understand.


Back to Cancer treatment and your heart

Tests to check heart health

There are several tests your doctors can use to check your heart function before, during and after treatment.