Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to identify risk factors for cardiovascular disease in women with breast
cancer and review healthy lifestyle behaviors as essential risk reduction strategies.
Findings: Women with breast cancer account for 22% of the 12 million cancer survivors. Women diagnosed with breast
cancer often present with modifiable and non-modifiable cardiovascular risk factors and/or pre-existing co-morbid illness.
Any one or a combination of these factors may increase the risk of cardiovascular disease. There is strong evidence that
healthy eating and routine physical activity can reduce cardiovascular disease. Exercise improves cardiovascular fitness,
body composition and quality of life in breast cancer survivors and observational studies suggest a survival benefit.
Clinical Implications: Lifestyle interventions including a healthy diet, regular physical activity, weight management and
smoking cessation should be integrated into a survivorship care plan to reduce cardiovascular disease risk and promote
better health for women with breast cancer.