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British Heart Foundation
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Heart problems and chemo

Hi, I'm new and am hoping someone may be able to reassure me. I have breast cancer and have gone through 6 months of chemo and surgery, so am feeling generally battered. I thought I'd be on the home run, and need injections of herceptin for the next year. Unfortunately I was shocked to find that my left ventricle output has dropped significantly (LVEF) and am now on medication to try and recover it or my cancer treatment will be suspended. I can't believe I have fought so hard for 8 months and as a non smoking slim marathon runner I feel my body has let me down. I need herceptin and would appreciate advice if anyone has been in the same position. I am so tired of being scared. Thankyou.

5 Replies

Hi there - I'm so sorry to hear about everything you have going on at the moment, it must be an incredibly difficult time for you. It can be so overwhelming to get a cancer diagnosis that often people aren't aware of the risks to their heart, especially with chemo, so you're not alone in being shocked at the outcomes. In response to this, we partnered with Macmillan to produce a resource to help give people more information about chemo and its effects on your heart: bhf.org.uk/heart-matters-ma...

We're always looking for ways to help combat these risks, and research is ongoing to help people who need chemo in the future avoid developing heart failure as a result. You can read a little more about some of this research here: bhf.org.uk/research/what-we...

I hope this has been helpful, and that there are some members on here who may have been through the same thing who can support you.

Take care, Chris


Hey Raggarty, welcome to the forum. I am so sorry to hear of your troubles. Firstly let me congratulate you on your battle with cancer, you are doing so well. Not so good about the heart news, but, one positive it's been found. I hope this medication, or another, will stabilise it so you can get back to winning your fight. Please let us know how you get on and if you want to rant, generally moan or even come in and say hi, there will be someone around, no matter what time as a lot of us hearties have sleep issues, to talk to.

Take care


Hi Raggarty I was diagnosed with early stage Breast cancer in January and Her-2 positive I was lucky it did not go in my lymph nodes I opted for a mastectomy and no reconstruction as I am 70 did not feel up to going through that as well had the op in February and started 4 rounds of chemo TC and Herceptin finished the chemo inApril and then was to have the Herceptin every three weeks until next year and Letrozole for five years everything was going well until the 5th injection when I started getting short of breathe it got worse went to the doctors he sent me for a chest x ray and then I went for a mugga test which was due before my next injection the result was so bad they took me to A&E to put me on a heart machine my heart has been damaged the output had gone from 56% to 20% I have never been so scared my oncologist says I cant continue with Herceptin I am now on medication been told in can be reversed but takes about three months I know how you feel about not having the protection of Herceptin. That's my story I am staying positive and keep smiling.

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Well, I am sorry you are also experiencing this - I'm really hoping when I go back on 15th Sept my heart will have increased enough to start - I am prepared it may be a rocky road but I view every dose as something positive. I've only had the 4 included within my last chemo cycle. I think I am finding it so stressful as I also have the burst seroma so my radiotherapy is also delayed.

You must have been frightened at the severity of the LVEF function,I hope the treatment break will allow recovery and I'm sure you will be monitored more closely now the problem is known. It's not a lot of fun is it?

Thanks for replying, I wouldn't wish anyone to go through this experience but knowing Im not alone really helps, I don't think any of us can feel brave all of the time.

With best wishes and thanks.

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You are both fantastic, hoping all comes good for you both


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