Your body creates a number of different proteins that help carry out normal activities inside your body. Amyloidosis occurs when your body mis-creates one of these proteins, and as a result, pieces of these proteins (fibrils) are deposited in different organs and cause damage. The types of amyloidosis refer to which protein is being mis-created, and the most common types that involve the heart are light chain (AL) amyloidosis and transthyretin (TTR) amyloidosis. Treatment options are available for both types, but are determined based on the type of amyloidosis. Amyloid can deposit in the heart muscle and cause heart failure and arrhythmias. Our physicians are experienced at managing both types of this disease, and will act quickly to make sure that these are being treated appropriately. Furthermore, TTR amyloidosis can be genetic, so we send genetic testing on our patients to identify if your loved ones are also at risk for this disorder and make sure they are treated early.
Thanks to advances in cancer treatment, many more patients are surviving years passed their cancer diagnosis. However, cancer survivors are more likely than their peers to have heart disease. Many types of chemotherapy and immunotherapy can cause heart problems, including heart failure, arrhythmias, and heart attacks. Radiation therapy to the chest can also cause damage to the arteries, valves, muscle, and lining of the heart. Cardio-oncology is a special field devoted to having cardiology expertise on these potential complications from cancer treatments. Cardiologists in this field work closely with oncologists and keep up with new cancer therapies to ensure that each patient is monitored for any cardiac side effects during their treatment course and after they have recovered from their cancer diagnosis. The goal of cardio-oncologists is to allow oncologists to deliver the treatment needed for cancer in the safest manner and to promote long-term cancer survivorship. HCVA is an International Cardio-Oncology Society (IC-OS) accredited exemplary program and Cardio-Oncology Center of Excellence.