Interest in Cardio-Oncology (CO) in Portugal began approximately 10 years ago. The first CO structures were created in tertiary hospitals in Lisbon and Porto but nowadays, they are spread all over the country.
Indeed, in a national survey conducted in 2021, there were 17 centers in 12 cities with a CO unit and one offering a specific pediatric CO consultation. In most of those centres, the cardiologists involved were heart failure or imaging subspecialists. However, interventional cardiologists were also members of the team in three centres. In half of them, nurses and cardiopulmonary technicians were involved. We feel this is important, as the best way to address the multiple issues of cancer patients is in multidisciplinary teams, involving cardiologists with different subspecialties, oncologists, hematologists and other health professionals. An interesting example is Cardio-Oncology Rehabilitation: there are currently two clinics with a specific structure in Portugal.
Since 2018, a Postgraduate Course in Cardio-Oncology has been held at the Lisbon School of Medicine, with collaboration from colleagues from all over the country. From 2021 onwards, the course has also had major contributions from international renowned experts. This has been an important landmark in CO training/education in Portugal.
The growing interest in the area led the Portuguese Society of Cardiology to create a Cardio-Oncology Study Group in 2019. Its main goals are to improve the quality of cardiovascular care of cancer patients, promote training opportunities as well as research. Therefore, we have participated in numerous cardiology and oncology meetings, advanced education programs from the Portuguese Cardiology Society and organised a one-day course at the Portuguese Congress of Cardiology. We are about to issue a Position Statement with the Portuguese Association of Cardiovascular Intervention (a branch of the Portuguese Society of Cardiology) and a national CO registry will be launched soon.