Since being diagnosed with ovarian cancer in 2016, LeAnn Moore has gone through multiple rounds of chemotherapy. So she is no stranger to doctors, hospitals and needles. But that doesn’t mean she is anxious to spend any more time with them than she needs to.
While in the midst of another round of chemo to treat a relapse of her cancer, she began to experience occasional bouts of chest pain and numbness in her arms. Leann put off going to the doctor for several weeks, but a particularly bad episode made her realize that she could not ignore the symptoms any longer.
After a visit to the ER ruled out a heart attack, she was told she needed to follow-up with a cardiologist. Since her mother and husband are under the care of Virginia Heart, Leann knew exactly where she wanted to go.
She first saw Jeffrey S. Luy, MD, FACC, who ordered a stress test. The result was abnormal, suggesting at least one area of her heart muscle was not receiving adequate blood flow. Within a week, Leann was in the catheterization lab with Virginia Heart’s Eric D. Pauley, MD, FACC, FSCAI, where cardiac catherization was performed via Leann’s right radial artery. Dr. Pauley discovered Leann had a 99 percent narrowing of her right coronary artery due to atherosclerosis, so he performed an angioplasty and stenting to open up the artery and improve blood flow.
Even as a veteran of years of cancer treatments, LeAnn admits she was extremely anxious prior to the procedure. But it turns out she had nothing to worry about. “It was really a piece of cake,” she recalls. “I had no pain, no discomfort, nothing.”
She was home within hours of the outpatient procedure and has had no chest pain since. Now she sees Dr. Pauley regularly to manage her cardiac health going forward. “After a stent, patients need to see their cardiologist so we can address overall heart health, including lifestyle changes and medications which reduce the risk of needing stents in the future,” Dr. Pauley says.
It’s unlikely that LeAnn’s cancer caused her coronary disease, but many cancer therapies can affect the heart. Virginia Heart’s Cardio-Oncology team, led by Jennifer Shea, MD, FACC and Raymond Vlacancich, DO, has extensive experience in helping cancer patients and survivors manage any cardiac side effects or conditions that arise from their cancer treatments. They collaborate closely with patients’ oncologists to prevent, detect and mitigate the effects of cardiotoxicity.
It's that kind of diligence that has made LeAnn a Virginia Heart fan for life. “Everyone at Virginia Heart is just amazing, from the office staff to the nurses to the doctors. They are all phenomenal,” she says. “They really take their time with patients and explain things thoroughly. I feel extremely blessed to live in Northern Virginia and be under the care of Virginia Heart.”