MU Health Care Opens First Cardio-oncology Specialty Clinic in Central Missouri
A new specialty clinic at University of Missouri Health Care offers comprehensive care to patients with heart and cancer-related health issues. The cardio-oncology clinic, the only one of its kind in central Missouri, is located at Ellis Fischel Cancer Center.
“Survival rates for many cancers have improved dramatically over the last 25 years,” said Rachel Littrell, MD, a cardiologist at MU Health Care who leads the new clinic. “As people live longer, it becomes increasingly important to make prevention and treatment of cardiovascular disease part of the cancer survival plan. Our new specialty clinic provides a comprehensive approach for both of these conditions to optimize the care we provide.”
Littrell is board-certified in internal medicine, cardiovascular medicine and echocardiography ― the diagnostic use of ultrasound to image the heart. The dedicated cardio-oncology clinic allows Littrell and her team to closely monitor patients with both conditions as they receive care.
“Cardiovascular disease for those with cancer is very common, and the risk is not just related to age,” Littrell said. “Many chemotherapy treatments can be damaging to the heart. Side effects from cancer treatments can include weakening of the heart muscle or heart rhythm problems. That’s why a comprehensive approach dedicated to personalized risk assessment, prevention, detection and treatment is so important. We want to improve continuity of care and disease management for both conditions.”
MU Health Care’s cardio-oncology clinic is open from 8 a.m. to noon each Thursday. Patients with cancer and cardiovascular disease can make an appointment by calling 573-884-3278.
Click here for a high-resolution portrait of Rachel Littrell, MD.