What is cardiac tumor?
Cardiac tumors are abnormal growths in the heart or heart valves. There are many types of cardiac tumors. But, cardiac tumors, in general, are rare.
The tumors can be cancerous (malignant) or noncancerous (benign). Tumors that begin growing in the heart and stay there are called primary tumors. Tumors that start in another part of the body and move to the heart (metastasize) are called secondary tumors.
Most cardiac tumors are benign. But, even benign tumors can cause problems because of their size and location. Sometimes, small pieces of tumor fall into the bloodstream and are carried to distant blood vessels and get in the way of blood flow to vital organs (embolism).
How common is cardiac tumor?
Cardiac tumor is extremely common. It commonly affects more females than males. It can affect patients at any age. It can be managed by reducing your risk factors. Please discuss with your doctor for further information.
What are the symptoms of cardiac tumor?
Many times, patients do not know they have a cardiac tumor. They are often found when the patient has an echocardiogram for another reason. If the tumor becomes hardened by calcium deposits (calcified), it may be seen on a chest X-ray. Most primary cardiac tumors are discovered when patients are in their 50s and 60s. However, they can be found in younger patients, too.
Patients with cardiac myxoma in the left atrium may develop symptoms. This is due to blocked blood flow through the mitral valve. The blood flow may be blocked all the time, or just when the patient is in a certain physical position (i.e., lying down). While many patients have no symptoms, if blood flow is blocked and there is increased pressure in the left atrium, it can cause shortness of breath, lightheadedness or a cough. The inflammation may cause a fever, and the patient may have joint pain or not feel well.
There may be some symptoms not listed above. If you have any concerns about a symptom, please consult your doctor.
When should I see my doctor?
If you have any signs or symptoms listed above or have any questions, please consult with your doctor. Everyone’s body acts differently. It is always best to discuss with your doctor what is best for your situation.
What causes cardiac tumor?
A small percentage of patients with cardiac tumors have a family history of the condition. Sometimes, the tumors can be part of another health condition, such as NAME syndrome, LAMB syndrome or carney syndrome. Most often, the tumor develops without any of those conditions or family history. They are the result of cell overgrowth that either starts in the heart or moves to the heart.
What increases my risk for cardiac tumor?
Cardiac tumor tend to run in families and may be at least partially genetic. Having a malignant tumor in another part of the body that can spread to heart – especially, melanoma, breast or lung cancer – can put you at a greater risk of developing a tumor of the heart.
Diagnosis & Treatment
The information provided is not a substitute for any medical advice. ALWAYS consult with your doctor for more information.
How is cardiac tumor diagnosed?
If your doctor thinks you may have a cardiac tumor, the diagnosis can be confirmed using an echocardiogram, Computed Tomography (CT) scan, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), or radionuclide imaging.
How is cardiac tumor treated?
Because cardiac tumors can lead to problems with blood flow, surgery to remove the tumor is usually the treatment of choice. But, whether surgery is needed depends on the tumor size, whether it causes symptoms, and the patient’s overall health.
Removal requires open heart surgery. But, in many cases, the surgery can be done robotically or using a minimally invasive technique. During the surgery, the surgeon removes the tumor and the tissue around it to reduce the risk of the tumor returning. Because the surgery is complicated and requires a still heart, a heart-lung machine will be used to take over the work of your heart and lungs during surgery.
Recovery after traditional surgery is usually 4 to 5 days in the hospital, and 6 weeks total recovery time. If the tumor is removed using a robotic or minimally invasive approach, your hospital stay will likely be shorter, and you should make a full recovery in about 2 to 3 weeks.
After surgery, you will need to have an echocardiogram every year to make sure that the tumor has not returned and that there are no new growths.
Lifestyle changes & Home remedies
What are some lifestyle changes or home remedies that can help me manage cardiac tumor?
The following lifestyles and home remedies might help you cope with cardiac tumor:
- Psychological support is very important for cancer patients. If a patient gets isolated from the society and is depressed mentally, he may not respond well to medication. This would lead to considerable increase in health complications and decrease the chances of curing cancer in time. Support groups try to make the life of cancer patients more interesting by involving them in various different activities and strive to keep them active and healthy.
- Family support is very important to treat the cancer patients efficiently. Proper and regular medication is necessary to take the optimum benefits of medication. Family plays an important role in taking care of tests and medical follow up schedules related to cancer treatment. They also take care of the dietary patterns and other necessary activities of the patient.
- Palliative care is another major form of support for cancer. Main focus of this type of care is to minimize the suffering of cancer patients. This type of cure is suitable for all stages of cancer irrespective of the chances of elimination of cancer tumors.
If you have any questions, please consult with your doctor to better understand the best solution for you.
Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.
Cardiac Tumors. http://my.clevelandclinic.org/services/heart/disorders/cardiac-tumors. Accessed 29 Feb 2017.
Cancer Support. http://www.cancer8.com/cancer-support.html. Accessed 29 Feb 2017.
Review Date: March 10, 2017 | Last Modified: March 10, 2017