The cardiotoxicity of these compounds is varied – intervenes Michelino De Laurentiis, co-president of the congress and Director of the Division of Breast Medical Oncology of the Pascale Institute of Naples -. It is therefore essential to prevent, intercept and, if necessary, treat cardiovascular complications in patients undergoing cancer treatment and in all those who survive cancer:
the simplest way to do this is to undergo clinical and instrumental cardiological consultation at the time of cancer diagnosis and in any case before starting the therapy, so as to be able to choose and adapt it according to the cardiovascular condition of the individual case. Only in this way the treatment will have the maximum anti-cancer efficacy combined with a minimum cardiac impact “.
This “rule” is rightly included in the decalogue of ideal anticancer therapy, presented at the conference: ten recommendations that increase the chances of success of the treatment and at the same time are “health-saving” because they allow to reduce relapses and adverse effects of therapies, allowing the many who defeat cancer to remain healthy and strong.
“We know for example – continues De Laurentiis – that some foods can counteract the cardiotoxic effects of chemotherapy and biological treatments: sesame oil, soy and brown rice seem to be able to reduce cardiovascular complications from anti-cancer therapies.
Nutrition improves the prognosis and the rules for an anticancer diet are few: it is necessary to limit or abolish red meat, sugars and sweets, but without particular restrictions on all other food classes.
The much demonized dairy products, for example, must not be completely eliminated nor is it necessary to become vegan: there is no clear scientific proof of any advantages, plus it is a diet that is difficult to follow consistently and also complicated to manage because it is balanced in terms of necessary nutrients.
In the case of women with breast cancer, for example – concludes De Laurentiis – – physical activity is so effective that it can be considered a real cure, like chemo and hormone therapy ”.
The cardioncological decalogue1)
Control your weight, prevent it from increasing under the effect of therapies or reducing it in the case of overweight / obesity: staying at your ideal weight is essential to lower the risk of cardiovascular disease and reduce that of recurrence.2) Adopt an active lifestyle by getting used to using your body whenever possible, for example by walking or cycling and avoiding elevators and escalators whenever possible.
3) Practice physical / sporting activity regularly 2-3 times a week: it is a “cure” that counteracts the side effects of therapies and significantly reduces both the cardiovascular risk and the risk of tumor recurrence.4) Reduce or abolish cigarette smoking5) Reduce or abolish alcohol consumption
6) It controls cholesterol and triglycerides, the values can alter during oncological therapies; to reduce them to diet, physical activity and any lipid-lowering drugs.7) Check your blood pressure and, in case of hypertension, adopt adequate drug therapy under medical supervision.
8) Choose a balanced diet, rich in vegetables, limiting or abolishing red meat and sugars and sweets, but without any other particular restrictions. Extreme diets, such as the vegan diet, are harder to keep balanced and there is no clear evidence of any benefits.
9) Discuss with your oncologist the advisability of taking calcium and vitamin D to counteract the tendency to osteoporosis induced by the therapies practiced.10) Contact a cardioncologist for an optimal approach to the integrated control of oncological and cardiac risks.