New research finds that breast cancer patients treated with radiation are more likely to develop heart problems years later.
A study of more than 2,000 women in Denmark and Sweden finds that the heart risk comes from any amount of radiation, starts five years after treatment and lasts for decades.
Doctors say women should not panic, because radiation improves cancer survival and that is the top priority. The chance of suffering a radiation-induced heart attack is fairly small and women can do a lot to cut the risk by keeping their weight, cholesterol and blood pressure under control.
The study is in Thursday's New England Journal of Medicine.
(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.)