Is 5FU Safe for Cardiac Patients?

OncoLink
Last Modified: May 8, 2012

Question

My mother is in her late 60s and has had heart problems in the past. Is it safe for her to get 5-FU for colon cancer treatment?

Answer

Liz Prechtel-Dunphy, Oncology Nurse Practitioner at Penn Medicine responds:

There is no contraindication to 5-FU treatment in patients with heart disease. Patient's can experience angina like symptoms when receiving continuous infusion 5FU. If they develop this symptom, it can be treated with nitrate medication or the infusion time may be altered.

This question and answer was part of the OncoLink Brown Bag Chat Series. View the entire transcript from the Focus on GI Cancers webchat.

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