Heart care for cancer patients in Tennessee | Ascension
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Heart care for cancer patients in Tennessee

Our cardiologist, with advanced training in cardio-oncology delivers specialized heart care before, during and after cancer therapy.

Prolonged exposure to radiation, chemotherapy and other cancer treatments may impact your heart health. If you experience heart problems at any stage of your cancer care, your oncologist may connect you to the cardio-oncologist at Ascension Saint Thomas Heart, who specializes in treating heart conditions that develop during or after cancer therapy. Every appointment with your doctor starts with a conversation about any new symptoms, concerns or questions. Your specialists and care team collaborate, working together for you and with you.

Heart screenings and cardiotoxicity prevention

Some cancer therapies contain toxins that may damage your heart muscle. This condition is called cardiotoxicity and can develop during or after cancer treatment. To help prevent or reduce your risk of cardiotoxicity, your cardiologist may recommend advanced screenings such as:

  • Blood tests
  • Cardiac computed tomography (CT) scan
  • Chest X-ray
  • Echocardiography (echo)
  • Electrocardiogram (EKG)
  • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
  • Multigated acquisition (MUGA) scan

Symptoms of cardiotoxicity

Don’t wait when you have concerns about your heart health. Talk to your doctor if you’re experiencing symptoms of cardiotoxicity, including:

  • Chest pain
  • Dizziness
  • Enlargement of the abdomen
  • Heart palpitations
  • Fluid retention in the legs
  • Shortness of breath
  • Swelling and fluid retention in the legs

Advanced cancer care for your heart

If you’ve been diagnosed with cardiotoxicity, you have a higher risk of developing other heart conditions, such as:

  • Arrhythmia (irregular heartbeat)
  • Blood clots
  • Heart failure
  • Heart tumors
  • High blood pressure
  • Myocardial ischemia (reduced blood flow to the heart)
  • Myocarditis (inflammation of the heart muscle)

When you need more advanced heart care, your multispecialty care team may include oncologists, cardiologists, cardiovascular surgeons, hematologists, radiologists, and nurses. Your care team works together to monitor your heart health and deliver personalized treatment options that are right for you. Your doctor may also recommend medications, lifestyle changes and follow-up care to help manage your heart symptoms.

Meet our cardio-oncology team

Sasan R. Raissi, MD

Get a second opinion from a cardiologist

Get the confidence and peace of mind that your doctor and cardiovascular care plan are right for you. It's easy to get a second opinion with Ascension Saint Thomas. We can review your medical records and healthcare history to answer your questions and discuss options. Talk with one of our doctors about a personalized heart care plan.

When you are facing a new diagnosis or are deciding on a treatment plan, there’s a lot to think about. If you are looking for a second opinion for advanced heart care, our cardiologists can also connect you with the right specialists to deliver care for your specific needs. Our heart and vascular specialists can provide a second opinion, based on our experience and as part of a national care team.

Before your appointment, check with your insurance company to find out if a second opinion is covered. We can request your medical records on your behalf, so that they can be shared with your care team before your arrival.



If you are experiencing chest pain, especially in combination with jaw or arm pain, lightheadedness, nausea, vomiting or difficulty breathing, you might be having a heart attack. Call 911 or go to the nearest emergency room right away.