Breast cancer is the most common cancer in women globally. Rising incidence and improvements in cancer care have contributed to a growing number of breast cancer survivors. As these cancer survivors live longer, and with the majority of the patients being older than 50, they are at higher risk of developing other chronic diseases and conditions, including cardiovascular disease (CVD), neurovascular disease, weight gain, and osteoporosis.
Imaging is an integral part of breast cancer care and follow-up. A large majority of breast cancer patients undergo the acquisition of radiotherapy planning computed tomography (CT) scans. In addition to the requested information about tumor anatomy and location, these scans also contain information on risk factors for other diseases. For example, the amount of coronary artery calcifications indicates a risk of heart infarction. In daily clinical practice, this potentially valuable but unrequested information is not systematically assessed or reported. However, systematic assessment and reporting of the presence of (risk factors of) chronic conditions on radiotherapy planning CT scans might allow timely identification and treatment of high-risk patients, improving their long-term outcomes and quality of life.