Cardiac Tumors

Happy world heart day to all my respectable visitors, a heart is a very important organ of the body. It is our responsibility to maintain our heart health. Healthy Heart: Happy Long Life.

In this article am going to share the important information about the cardiac tumor, its causes, cardiac tumor symptoms and its types and how to prevent the cardiac tumor.

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What are cardiac tumors?

Cardiac tumors are the abnormal growth in heart or heart valves. There are many types of cardiac tumors but the cardiac tumors are very rare. These tumors are either cancerous or noncancerous. The tumors that grow in the heart and stay there are called primary tumors. The tumors that start in the other parts of the body and spread to the heart are called secondary tumors. Most of the cardiac tumors are benign, however, the benign tumors sometimes cause serious problems because of the size and location of the tumors. Even the small piece of tumors fall into the bloodstream and they are carried to the distant blood vessels they pass through the blood flow to the important organs of the body.

What causes the cardiac tumors?

Mostly the cardiac tumors are caused due to family history and sometimes the tumors are due to other health conditions such as the NAME syndrome, LAMB syndrome or Carney syndrome. In most of the cases, the tumor develops without any these conditions or family history. These are due to cell overgrowth that starts in the heart or starts in other parts of the body and moves to the heart.

What are the different types of cardiac tumors?

Primary Tumors

It is very happy to hear that the primary tumors affect only 1 in 1000 and the most common type of the cardiac tumor is Myxoma. This is benign cancer and patients of any age group can develop the myxoma. This disease is more common in women when compared to men. Most of the times the tumor grows in the heart’s left upper chamber (left Atrium). Myxomas can spread to the other parts of the heart and in the valves of the heart. However this growth is very rare, about 10 percent of myxomas occur due to hereditary or due to the other disease. The other types of primary benign tumors are fibroelastomas, rhabdomyomas, hemangiomas, teratomas, paragangliomas, papillary and pericardial cysts. The malignant primary tumors are pericardial mesothelioma, sarcoma, and primary lymphoma.

Secondary Tumors

Secondary tumors are most common when compared to the primary tumors. Normally they don’t start in the heart but they will move to the heart after developing in other parts of the body. These tumors start in breast, stomach, kidneys, colon, lungs and liver. This can also tumor related to leukemia, lymphoma or melanoma.

What are the symptoms of cardiac tumors?

It is very difficult to find out that the patient has the cardiac tumors they are found when the patient undergo an echocardiogram for other reasons. If the tumor becomes serious by calcium deposits (calcified), it is noticed on the chest X-ray. Most of the primary tumors are discovered in patients who are in 50’s and 60’s. This is also found in younger patients too, patients with primary tumor (cardiac myxoma) in the left atrium develop symptoms. This condition occurs due to blocked blood flow through a mitral valve. The blood flow can be blocked anytime or when the patient is in certain physical position (lying down). While many of the patients don’t experience any symptoms, if the blood flow is blocked the pressure increases in the left atrium and it results in the shortness of breath, cough or lightheadedness. The inflammation causes fever and joint pain and the patient will not feel well.

What are the risks of cardiac tumors?

The tumor that blocks the blood flow can lead to heart failure, blood clots, stroke or atrial fibrillation. The another risk of a cardiac tumor is embolism, this means the part of the tumor or the blood clot can travel to the other parts of the circulatory system.

How are cardiac tumors diagnosed?

If your doctor doubts that you have cardiac tumor, then it is confirmed using the following diagnosis,

  • Echocardiogram
  • Computed tomography CT Scan
  • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
  • Or radionuclide imaging

How are the cardiac tumors treated?

The cardiac tumors result in the problem with the blood flow and immediate surgery is done to remove the tumor. However the requirement of surgery depends on the size of the tumor, its symptoms and patients overall health condition.

Removal of tumor requires open heart surgery, in many cases, the surgery is done robotically or it is done using the minimally invasive technique. The surgeon removes the tumor and the tissues around the particular part to reduce the risk of returning of the tumor. Surgery is very difficult so the heart-lung machine is used to take over the working mechanism of your heart and lungs during the surgery.

Recovery time after surgery is 4-5 days in the hospital and 6 weeks fully time rest is needed to complete recovery. If the surgery is done robotically your hospital stay is less and you should take 2-3 weeks to full recovery. After surgery, you must undergo echocardiogram once in a year to make sure that tumor has not returned again.

 How to prevent the cardiac tumors?

You must completely avoid the food and habits that can cause cancer. Don’t smoke and quit the habit is using tobacco products. Reduce the amount of liquor drinking and avoid the excessive exposure to the sun and harmful chemical radiation.

Cancer screening test can detect the tumors at the early stage and you have more chances of treating the disease completely. Once again happy heart day, Healthy Heart- Healthy, Long And Happy Life.