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Cancer Risk May Be Higher in Patients with Heart Failure

Posted on February 13, 2016 by Disability Help Group

A new study from the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN suggests that those with heart failure may also have an increased risk of cancer. A comparison was made between two groups of people, one compromised of 961 patients who were recently diagnosed with heart failure. The other group included persons without the disease, with similarities in gender and age.

After following the groups for eight years, it was found that the risk of cancer diagnosis was 68 percent higher for those with heart failure compared to those without it. Some of the types of cancers that developed were of the breast, colon, blood and prostate.

Because of these findings, it’s important that patients with heart failure pay attention to new symptoms that could indicate other health problems. More common is high blood pressure and diabetes, yet it may be advantageous to keep a close watch on other symptoms that may indicate the development of cancer.

Researchers caution they have not proved a cause-and-effect. More studies will need to be conducted in order to determine why there appears to be a link between heart failure and cancer. One consideration, however, is that organs may be affected because of the reduced oxygen and blood flow caused by heart failure.

Another factor that will likely be considered in any follow-up studies are the number of tests that heart failure patients receive. It’s believed that the increased number of cancer cases may be linked to the fact patients with this cardiovascular disease receive more tests and medical attention. Therefore, there is a greater potential to catch cancer compared to those who don’t receive as many tests and medical attention.

Heart failure can lead to a variety of complications, such as heart attack and stroke. It may also cause damage to the person’s kidneys, liver and heart valves. Symptoms may be severe enough that it’s disabling, long-term or permanently. As a result, disability benefits may be available. To learn about your rights, contact Disability Help Group