A recent study published in the New England Journal of Medicine finds that radiation treatment for breast cancer moderately increases the risk of heart disease, but many researchers say the risk is outweighed by the benefit of this treatment.
Dr. Silvia Formenti at the New York University Langone Medical Center indicates that this study may cause women to believe that this treatment is dangerous and would opt to have their breasts removed to avoid radiation. Yet, Dr. Lori Mosca the director of preventative cardiology at the New York-Presbyterian Hospital notes that a prior history of breast radiation may be an important risk factor for cardiovascular disease. Dr. Mosca also says this study shows that people with cancer are now living long enough to have long-term effects of treatment.
According to the study, cardiovascular risk related to radiation is real and efforts should be made to minimize exposure to the heart when undergoing radiation.
More information related to this study can be found here.