Radiation Therapy to the Chest and Cardiotoxicity

John Han-Chih Chang, MD and Kenneth Blank, MD
Last Modified: November 1, 2001

Question:

Dear OncoLink "Ask the Experts,"
I am a 33 year-old who is in his 6th year of remission from Hodgkin's disease stage IIA. I was treated with ABVD chemotherapy followed by radiation therapy. In December of 1997, I suffered a heart attack. The cardiologist told me that I had a lot of blockages in and around the blood vessels in my heart. He told me it was because of my heritage ? BUT NO person in my family has had heart problems. I had heard from one oncologist that radiation therapy may also cause these blockages by forming scar tissue, not the typical plaque. Is this true? Is there a relationship between radiation therapy and the heart attack that I had. I would like to know where I can learn more about it, so I can avoid any further problems.
Thanks,
J.B.

Answer:

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