There is a strong link between breast cancer treatments and heart conditions and stroke. Treatments such as chemotherapy, hormone therapy and radiation therapy can increase high blood pressure and atrial fibrillation, blood clots, and damage heart function.

Breast cancer is the most common cancer among women in Canada (excluding some skin cancers). As more women survive breast cancer, more are then facing increased risk for heart conditions and stroke because of treatments. Globally, women with a personal history of breast cancer are at greater risk of dying from heart conditions and stroke than women without breast cancer. Heart conditions and stroke are the leading cause of death for women over 65 with a history of breast cancer. 

As deaths related to cancer have been reduced in women across the world, heart conditions and stroke are becoming an important issue in cancer survivorship.  

Women who are undergoing or have undergone breast cancer treatments should speak to their health care providers regarding any potential increased risk.