Vanessa Paul Patterson
Heart Health for Women With Breast Cancer — How Can We Do Better?
Advancements in cancer treatments have dramatically improved the survivability of breast cancer, one of the most common cancers in the world. Unfortunately, while women are increasingly surviving breast cancer, survivors have an increased risk of developing heart disease due to adverse effects of their cancer treatments. Despite our understanding of these cardiovascular risks, use of protective heart medications among breast cancer patients and survivors is low. My research seeks to understand how we can better protect the heart health of women who experience breast cancer by looking at potential barriers to the prescribing of certain heart medications. These barriers include how cardiovascular risk is assessed for prescribing purposes within this population and how care is organized for these medically complex patients. I will also seek to describe the potential health impact of improving prescribing of heart medications for this population. If we can understand ways to improve delivery of cardiovascular care, there is potential to have significant impacts on the health of women who experience breast cancer.
This predoctoral award for Health Outcomes Research means that I’m now able to dedicate my full effort to my own research activities. With PhRMA Foundation support, I’m now that much closer to my goal of becoming an independent researcher.