Estimating your personal risk of coronary heart disease and stroke
A new risk calculator is available for predicting and managing your heart health
LTFU Study researchers have developed an important new tool to help survivors of childhood and adolescent cancer, along with their health care providers, predict their personal risk of coronary heart disease and stroke. Some cancer treatments increase a person’s risk of developing these conditions. Knowing the extent of your treatment-related risk can help you and your doctor take steps to manage and protect your health.
The research team, led by Dr. Eric Chow of the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle, described their new heart disease and stroke risk calculator in a report just published on January 1, 2018, in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.
The calculator was designed specifically for survivors who are five or more years from diagnosis and can be used through age 50. It can tell you whether your risk of heart disease or stroke is low, moderate, or high based on the treatments you received.
To get the most informative results you should inform your doctor about your treatment history because he or she will need to enter some treatment details into the calculator. Your Survivorship Care Plan contains a concise but complete record of your treatment history. You likely received a care plan from the hospital where you were treated after you completed therapy. Ask your oncologist for a copy of your plan if you don’t have one.
The risk calculator is available online at: ccss.stjude.org/cvcalc
What does this mean for you?
Some survivors may be relieved to learn that their treatment-related risk is low. All survivors can use this great new tool to take ownership of their health and their lifestyle choices. Choosing healthy behaviors can help you maintain your heart health and it is never too late to choose a healthy lifestyle!
To protect you heart and blood vessels we hope you’ll choose to:
- Be physically active
- Don’t smoke cigarettes
- Achieve or maintain a healthy weight
- Eat a low fat, high fiber diet
- Treat high blood pressure and diabetes, if you have these conditions.
Chow EJ, Chen Y, Hudson MM, et al. Prediction of Ischemic Heart Disease and Stroke in Survivors of Childhood Cancer. J Clin Oncol. 2018 Jan 1;36(1):44-52. [Epub 2017 Nov 2.]