Cancer and cardiovascular disease are closely linked. Cardiovascular disease is the most frequent side effect of cancer treatment, due to cardiotoxicity, which refers to the toxic effects of cancer treatment on heart function.
The cardiovascular complications of cancer treatment often limit treatment options for cancer patients, and there is growing concern that they may lead to premature morbidity and death in cancer survivors.
In addition, cancer patients may have cardiovascular risk factors and/or pre-existing cardiovascular disease that are often hidden and exacerbate the toxic effects of cancer treatments. For some cancers, such as breast, uterine, prostate or thyroid, about half of all patients die from cardiovascular disease rather than cancer.
The Europe’s Cancer Beating Plan provides an excellent opportunity for the EU to demonstrate the added value it brings in improving the health of European citizens. However, a holistic approach to cardiovascular cancer comorbidities is of paramount importance if the EU is to achieve the health goals it has set.
The joint statement, adopted and presented by the European Parliament’s (MEP) Heart Group and the Challenge Cancer Intergroup and endorsed by EACH, makes recommendations on how to make full use of financial and policy instruments to ensure that European Union citizens live longer and in good health.