The University of Alabama at Birmingham’s cardio-oncology program has received GOLD status — the highest designation of certification from the International Cardio-Oncology Society.
The cardio-oncology program is a specialty within UAB Medicine’s Cardiovascular Institute. It is designed to help patients whose cancer treatment can adversely affect their heart function.
“We know that effective cancer treatments like chemotherapy or radiation come with side effects,” explained cardio-oncology medical director Carrie Lenneman, M.D., associate professor in the UAB Marnix E. Heersink School of Medicine Division of Cardiovascular Disease. “Sometimes the treatment is toxic to the heart itself, so protecting the heart is an important part of a comprehensive treatment plan for these patients.”
This multidisciplinary clinical program recognizes that the second most common cause of death in cancer survivors is heart disease. Cardiologists work hand in hand with cancer specialists within the O’Neal Comprehensive Cancer Center to identify any potential cardiac side effects from cancer treatment and treat or prevent them, when possible.
The IC-OS Centers of Excellence Certification program recognizes the delivery of care in a comprehensive, interdisciplinary fashion to afford the best patient outcomes possible. To receive a GOLD certification, the institution must fulfill a wide range of high-level requirements and exhibit excellence in each area. It is valid for three years and signifies that the program has demonstrated outstanding professional contributions to the field of cardio-oncology and commitment to excellence.
To learn more about the heart and vascular services of the UAB Cardiovascular Institute and the cancer services offered by the O’Neal Comprehensive Cancer Center, explore www.uabmedicine.org.