Beta-Blockers May Help With Breast Cancer Treatment

May help prevent heart failure and death from metastatic disease.

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In the July 2011 Womens Heart Advisor, we discussed research confirming that radiation therapy for breast cancer prior to 1984, as well as the presence of benign breast calcifications, both increase the risk of coronary artery disease. Now theres more evidence supporting a breast-heart connection, but this time, the news is good. Two recent studies suggest that beta-blockers may reduce the cardiovascular side effects of chemotherapy and, possibly, prevent tumors from spreading. Beta-blockers are commonly prescribed to heart patients. They lower blood pressure and help the heart pump more easily by blocking adrenalin, thereby preventing the arteries from constricting. Common beta-blockers include metroprolol (Lopressor, Toprol XL), atenolol (Tenormin), carvedilol (Coreg), nadolol (Corgard) and propranolol (Inderal).
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