Cardiovascular disease among breast cancer survivors: the call for a clinical vascular health toolbox

Breast Cancer Res Treat. 2013 Dec;142(3):645-53. doi: 10.1007/s10549-013-2766-9. Epub 2013 Nov 16.


With better detection and treatment, breast cancer is less likely to be the primary cause of death in the majority of breast cancer survivors; mortality due to cardiovascular disease (CVD) is now more common. Given the long latency periods between cancer treatment completion and potential symptomatic CVD, there is a need to detect vascular changes before symptoms appear. This short review provides an overview of non-invasive, widely available, and relatively inexpensive techniques for assessing endothelial function, central and regional arterial stiffness, central blood pressures, and intima-media thickness. These tools exhibit acceptable reliability and validity, and are relatively practical. Clinical assessment recommendations are also provided. There is sufficient evidence to encourage the use of these techniques as a component of routine serial assessments, and to help guide appropriate treatment strategies.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Antineoplastic Agents / adverse effects
  • Antineoplastic Agents / therapeutic use
  • Breast Neoplasms / complications*
  • Breast Neoplasms / therapy
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / complications*
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / diagnosis
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / epidemiology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Radiotherapy / adverse effects
  • Risk
  • Survivors*


  • Antineoplastic Agents