Cardiovascular Specialist Needed for Your Cancer Treatment?

As cancer treatments have evolved over the years, cancer survival has improved, but the new forms of chemotherapy and radiation therapy can cause lasting damage to the heart. 

Accomplished physician and pioneer in cardio-oncology research and education, L. Steven Zukerman, M.D., FACC, medical director of the Cardio-Oncology Program at Hackensack Meridian Jersey Shore University Medical Center in Neptune, NJ, is addressing this concern.

The program is designed to minimize the impact of cancer treatments on patients’ hearts and provide continuing cardiac care to cancer survivors and provides patients access to experts in cardiology and oncology and advanced imaging services.  “Our multidisciplinary program provides patients with seamless and expert care as we monitor and protect their hearts before, during, and after cancer treatment,” says Dr. Zukerman.

A range of patients can be treated and monitored through the cardio-oncology program.  They include patients who will begin chemotherapy or radiation therapy and have risk factors for heart disease or are being treated for heart disease.  Patients who are experiencing cardiac symptoms or complications during cancer therapy are also candidates for the program, this includes high-blood pressure, congestive heart failure, and heart arrhythmias.  Screening for radiation-induced coronary artery disease, valvular heart disease, and pericardial disease is also provided.

Cancer patients currently receiving treatment receive regular heart function assessments.  Patients who are cancer survivors, including those who received cancer treatment as children, are monitored for heart disease risk and if needed, receive continuing medical care to maintain heart function.

Dr. Zukerman is board-certified in internal medicine and cardiovascular disease and completed his internal medicine internship at McGaw Medical Center of Northwestern University.  He completed his internal medicine residency, cardiology fellowship, and his clinical cardiac electrophysiology training at the Medical College of Pennsylvania.

The program, located in the cancer center on the academic medical center’s campus in the HOPE Tower, was funded in part through a gift of $500,000 from one of Dr. Zukerman’s grateful patients, given to at the time, the Jersey Shore University Medical Center Foundation.

Interviews are available with Dr. Zukerman.  He can provide information about how cancer treatment impacts the heart, the importance of cardiac care before, during and after cancer treatment as well as the modalities of this care and heart monitoring.  Especially relevant during February, National Heart Month.