Members of the Stamford Health
A Message from the Cardio-Oncology Team
As a result of remarkable progress achieved in cancer detection and treatment, an estimated 14.5 million people in the United States are now living beyond their cancer diagnosis. However, many cancer survivors struggle with adverse cardiovascular effects brought on by cancer treatment and therapies. Together with the Carl & Dorothy Bennett Cancer Center, Stamford Health’s Cardio-Oncology program is pleased to offer our patients a collaborative approach to diagnose, prevent and manage the effects of cancer treatment on the heart.
We would like to thank the many enthusiastic supporters of our program, including Drs. Evelyn Cusack, Edward Schuster, Jamie Stratton, Anne Angevine, Michael Ebright and Paul Weinstein, and our echo sonographers for the advanced cardiac imaging.
Reach out to our team leaders:
For a cardiology consultation, contact the office of Dr. Mina Owlia, Director of Cardio-Oncology. You may also contact Dr. Evelyn Cusack and Dr. David Hsi, Chief of Cardiology.
For an oncology consultation, reach out to Dr. Steve Lo, Medical Oncologist and co-chair of Cardio-Oncology.
What is cardio-oncology?
Cardio-oncology is a discipline committed to proactively identifying those with cancer who are at risk for long-term cardiac complications from their cancer treatment. At Stamford Health, we are committed to initiating treatment plans to all our patients who are at risk from such complications. Our team consists of experienced and forward-thinking oncologists, cardiologists and cardiac imaging specialists.
What makes Cardio-Oncology at Stamford Health unique?
Our specialists put your individual situation first as part of our multi-disciplinary team approach. We collaborate with experts in our field to assess the most challenging of cases. We’re committed to expanding our knowledge and are actively involved in research to investigate new methods to identify patients at increased risk for developing cardiac complications or heart disease from cancer treatment.
At Stamford Health’s division of Cardio-Oncology, we are dedicated to your well-being. You’ll benefit from the seamless coordination of appointments between the disciplines, whether for imaging, studies, oncology or cardiology.
How does cancer and cancer treatment affect your heart?
The connection between cancer and the heart involves shared risk factors, aging, and direct, heart-related complications from certain types of cancer treatment. Generally speaking, traditional heart disease factors such as obesity, hypertension, diabetes, dyslipidemia and smoking all increase the likelihood of cardiac damage as a result of chemotherapy.
Who is at high risk for cardiac complications after cancer treatment?
If you’re an adult survivor of childhood cancer, you’re particularly at high risk. This is because cardiac complications are actually the main cause of further complications, not necessarily the recurrence of cancer. This is a frequently under recognized fact. In addition, chemotherapy and radiation therapy can cause a number of potential short- and long-term cardiovascular complications, such as accelerated coronary artery disease and ischemia, myocarditis, pulmonary hypertension, pericardial disease, hypertension, thromboembolism and arrhythmias.
How are heart-related complications due to cancer treatment diagnosed?
We always recommend baseline imaging with echocardiography as part of your routine care prior to starting cancer chemotherapy treatments that could lead to heart-related toxicities. At Stamford Health, our cardiologists offer you conventional 2D echocardiograms, 2D cardiograms with strain imaging and 3D cardiograms as part of your cancer treatment.