SHN’s Cardio-Oncology program is certified as a Centre of Excellence by the International Cardio-Oncology Society (ICOS). The Cardio-Oncology program received “silver” status by ICOS early 2022 for its “exceptionally high concentration of expertise and related resources … delivering associated care in a comprehensive, interdisciplinary fashion to afford the best patient outcomes possible.” (Read more)
The Cardio-Oncology program is an outpatient consultative service that addresses the cardiovascular complications of cancer and its treatment
The program was launched in response to clinical data that indicated that standard chemotherapeutic drugs and newly developed agents for cancer treatment can have cardiac side effects. Drugs which are very effective in the treatment of breast cancer and other cancers, can have cardio-toxic side effects that can affect the pumping function of the heart.
Led by cardiologists with expertise in cardiac imaging, cardio-oncology team members work closely with the hematologists and oncologists at SHN to ensure patients can continue essential cancer treatment while maximizing the protection of their hearts.
Before undergoing medical or surgical treatments for cancer, it is important to understand your risk for developing cardiovascular disease. We work closely with your oncologist and provide a comprehensive evaluation prior to cancer therapy to minimize any potential cardiovascular complications from cancer treatment. We combine a complete, personalized assessment with appropriate diagnostic testing and optimal cardiovascular therapies to help ensure your best outcome.
Management of conditions and symptoms such as chest pain, hypertension, coronary artery disease, congestive heart failure, heart valve disease and arrhythmias (abnormal heart rhythms) in cancer patients requires an approach customized to their overall care. Our goal is to treat existing cardiac conditions so that you are healthy enough to respond well to your cancer treatment.
If you are actively receiving chemotherapy or have previously completed chemotherapy and/or radiation therapy, you may experience symptoms related to hypertension, coronary artery disease, congestive heart failure, valvular heart disease, pericardial disease and arrhythmias. With early recognition and treatment, many complications of chemotherapy and/or radiation therapy can be managed successfully.
There is increasing evidence that shows that survivors of cancer face higher risks of cardiovascular disease. We provide a comprehensive risk assessment that includes a detailed history, physical examination, lab work and diagnostic testing. Strategies to reduce cardiac risk include dietary and lifestyle modifications and, when appropriate, medical therapy.
Many of the new chemotherapeutic agents in clinical and pre-clinical studies have the potential to damage the heart (cardiotoxicity). We administer advanced diagnostic tests to identify cardiotoxicity for patients undergoing treatment with new chemotherapies.
These may include:
- Diagnostic imaging such as nuclear imaging and echocardiography (using the latest three-dimensional techniques as well as methods to detect early toxicity and cardiac dysfunction);
- Non-invasive stress testing
- Blood tests which can indicate heart dysfunction (Serum biomarkers);
- Ambulatory blood pressure monitoring; and
- Ambulatory cardiac monitoring (continuous monitoring of a patient’s heart from a remote location).
The Cardio-Oncology Clinic is open for appointments on Fridays. To refer a patient, please fax to 416-431-8193. For questions, or to learn more please call 416-438-2911 x7811.
What to Expect at the Clinic
During your first consultation, your care team will conduct a physical examination and review your medical history. Our consultations are performed by cardio-oncologists who provide specialized cardiac care to cancer patients and cancer survivors.
If you are a new patient, we ask that you bring a list of the medications, vitamins and herbal supplements that you take, along with information on dosages. Additionally, please bring any medical records, CDs of images, consultation notes, and notes on previous treatments and their effectiveness. We use this information at the time of your first visit to get a complete picture of you and your overall condition in order to develop an appropriate treatment plan.
We may recommend additional testing if needed and will help coordinate any scheduling:
- Imaging of your heart using nuclear medicine (MUGA) or ultrasound (echocardiography)
- Stress testing using a method that is appropriate for you
Our team will collaborate with your referring physician and ensure that they are aware of any test results Our team will collaborate with your referring physician and ensure that they are aware of any test results and next steps in your treatment. Our commitment to excellence means that we work to ensure that you receive the best care at all points during your visit. Our cardio-oncology team works in close contact with your cancer specialists to ensure a coordinated, seamless experience.
Central Wing, 1st Floor