Kara Kennedy – victim of cancer treatment
Posted by Jonathan Chamberlain on September 22, 2011
On Tuesday, a cardiologist and Kara Kennedy’s brother Patrick said her death may have been caused by an aggressive cancer treatment she received in 2002.
Dr Sharonne N. Hayes, a cardiologist and founder of the Women’s Heart Clinic at the Mayo Institute, told ABC: ‘Depending upon where the lung cancer was, her heart could have taken a direct hit.’
When she was diagnosed with the cancer, Mrs Kennedy was told it was inoperable but her father found a surgeon who was able to treat it by removing part of her right lung. She then received chemotherapy and radiation.
Her brother, former Rhode Island Rep. Patrick Kennedy, 44, said the gruelling treatments had left his sister physically weakened.
Dr Hayes told ABC that cancer patients who have aggressive chemotherapy and radiation, particularly in the chest, are at risk of heart problems .
She said: ‘The heart muscle can be weakened. This is probably widely under appreciated.
‘People are so fearful of cancer, but in order to save people from cancer, other organs are put at risk — the heart, in particular.’