Anybody having fast heart rate after chemo & radiation

Hello there

I finished chemo and radiation May 2008....remission on July 03, but followed by radiation pneumonitis for months afterwards.

Also have a heart rate of 130 at rest during the day...all heart tests have showed NO heart or artery related problems...Cardiologist says heart is reacting to some other cause ( ie lung inflamation maybe, I think)....Beta blockers only made fatigue even worse

So far no conclusive action being taken on heart is exhausting tho

Unfortunately CT scan results on May 1 show tumor has returned. I had another PET scan May 7...get results tomorrow, along with a meeting to plan another treatment round.....

Here we go again!!

Leo Hanes

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My mom had the same situation after chemo and radiation Was in hospital many times due to excessive heart rate (often 160 at rest) - all tests came back inconclusive as well I really dont know if this a common side effect but yes it must be so tiring for you!! Good luck with PET results..

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Any cancer drug can cause potential heart damage, and many doctors do not adequately monitor their patients or manage their care to minimize the health risk, according to a study by M. D. Anderson cardiologists.

Patients and doctors may not be aware of the spectrum of heart problems that can arise from cancer treatment, or know that many of these problems can be managed.

The study, published an issue of the journal Circulation, is the first large-scale review that details. Conducted with nine other M. D. Anderson cardiologists, the study reviews research on the cardiotoxicity of 29 anti-cancer drugs as well as 30 years of experience at M. D. Anderson.

Cardiotoxicity can occur in any patient. Generally speaking, patients most at risk are elderly and have other illnesses, such as diabetes and heart disease. Heart problems can occur during treatment or months and even years after treatment.

Possible solutions include, avoiding certain drugs, lowering drug dosages, administering drugs slower and over a longer period of time, monitoring cardiac health more stringently, avoiding giving some drugs simultaneously, treating cardiac risk factors, use of an echocardiogram during and after cancer treatment, and treating patients with heart failure drugs.

The Anderson researchers found a profile of cardiotoxicity for the most often used anticancer drugs, but it is important to know that every patient has different risk factors that will determine how their hearts handle the treatment. Monitoring and management is key to surviving cancer with a good and lasting heart.

Overt congestive heart failure is a very late and serious manifestation of heart muscle damage. For every patient with frank congestive heart failure, there is probably another two, three, four or five patients with heart muscle damage short of congestive heart failure. The sort of heart muscle damage which can cause fatigue and/or shortness of breath with moderate or mild exertion, which otherwise wouldn't occur.

Adjuvant therapy is worth it if patients have to suffer only short term, temporary toxicity, and if it even slightly reduces the probability that their cancers will come back. But if it produces permanent toxicity, whether "chemo brain" or "heart muscle damage," that is a whole different order of magnitude in terms of risk.

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I too ended up with a rapid heart rate after Taxotere. I go as high as 133 or so, mostly it hangs in the 90's. Chemo nurse said it is from chemo. Will it go away? who knows? We just have to live with it and hope for the best. Make every day count and do whatever you can while you feel good. If I die from a big ole heart attack,'s meant to be.

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Hi, I too began to have a rapid resting heart rate during radiation and chemotherapy. I'm 4 months down the road after treatment and I'm still elevated but not as bad. After echochardiogram, etc. they saw no apparent reason for this. My heart had moved over some though. So no explanation and no help for this. My biggest help comes from the Lord. I appreciate the medical profession, but they are limited in their ability to know or treat everything. I'm glad that I have the Great Physician on my case. My prayers are with you, especially now that you have had an extended diagnosis. May the Lord give you comfort, peace and healing strength. Diana

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Hello There

Wishing everybody a great day!

"I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me...Phil 4:13 ”

On Thursday May 14 we met with my lung doctor - Dr Retera - He explained that not only has the original lung tumor returned, but another has found the muscle in my right hip, and there is a small lesion on my spleen.

Waiting to a schedule radiation treatment on the hip, already have another appointment with cardiologist on Wednesday to see if anything can be done at least temporarily to get heart rate down.

He wants me in optimum condition to get started on a second round of chemo within a couple weeks.

He started preparing us for the low (30-40%) response rate to 2nd round chemo they have experienced, when I interrupted him..."saying its 50-50 just like the first either works or it don't!"

"Since nobody can predict the future, Doctor, please do not attempt to predict mine"

Don't misunderstand I appreciate his directness always, and do realize the possibilities.

Like most families this was not the kind of news we wanted. but its what we got to deal with.

The frustration comes from the "hurry up and wait" we all encounter with this crazy disease.

The hope comes from the fact we are still hurrying up and waiting!

SMILE - Have a great day ....anyway you can, but do it today!

Leo Hanes

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