Heart disease is the number one killer of women, and, now, a new statement by the American Heart Association reveals a connection to another serious threat: breast cancer.
Just as Tonda Gonce won her fight against breast cancer, she quickly found out there was a whole new battle in front of her. :
Tonda explained, "It turns out that the main artery, the main one that you do not come back from, was 99% blocked."
"Her last chemotherapy dose had to be held because her heart function was low, had dropped, and she needed to see a cardiologist," said Dr. Laxmi Mehta, a cardiologist at Ohio State Wexner Medical Center
Tonda needed a stent to open her blocked artery, which was likely caused by her cancer treatment. Complications like these aren’t uncommon.
Older breast cancer patients more often die of heart disease than cancer. That's why the American Heart Association published the first scientific statement about these two major threats to women’s health.
Doctor Mehta, the primary author, said experts recognize that oncologists and cardiologists need to work together closely to give patients the best chance against both diseases. :
Both breast cancer and heart disease share common risk factors such as sedentary lifestyle and obesity. So, women who follow lifestyle recommendations from the American Heart Association not only dramatically reduce their risk of heart disease, they’re also less likely to develop breast cancer
“Being active or exercising can actually help in the outcomes of both disease processes. Eating a healthy diet is imperative for both as well. Healthy weight is important," Dr. Mehta said. It’s advice that Tonda has taken to heart to move past both diseases and into a healthier future.