With more than 25 years of experience as a clinician, researcher, and educator in cardiovascular diseases, I joined Memorial Sloan-Kettering as Chief of the Cardiology Service in 2003. Memorial Sloan-Kettering's Cardiology program is one of the world’s leading programs devoted exclusively to the management of cardiovascular diseases in cancer patients. The many facets of this program share a common goal: to facilitate the delivery of optimal cancer therapy in patients who are at risk for or who have existing heart disease. Careful communication with other members of the Memorial Sloan-Kettering treatment team — including oncologists, surgeons, radiologists, radiation therapists, and medical subspecialists — makes this possible. On a practical level, this effort reduces the risk of cancer patients developing heart disease, and allows more patients who have both cancer and heart disease to safely receive the optimal therapy for their cancer.
While it is unusual for even the largest medical centers to have a single cardiologist devoted to the management of cardiovascular diseases in cancer patients, the Cardiology Service at Memorial Sloan-Kettering has nine full-time, board-certified cardiologists, 15 nurses/nurse practitioners/physician assistants, and a larger team of cardiovascular technologists in its cardiovascular programs.