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cardiac tumor

Cardiac Tumor – Types, Symptoms & Treatments



Heart tumors, also known as cardiac tumors, are abnormal heart muscle growths. They can develop in numerous areas of the organ. Primary cardiac tumors originate in the heart and may or may not be malignant. Metastatic cardiac tumors are caused by cancer that has spread from another organ to the heart. The prognosis of the tumor will depend on its type, size, and location in the heart.

Typically, mass on the heart tissue results from cancer that has spread from another organ. The tumors seldom originate in the heart. Depending on the genes, tumors can be benign (not cancerous) or malignant (cancerous).

Although benign heart tumors are uncommon, malignant tumors are extremely rarer. They are considered benign since they do not spread to other organs. However, they can become large and sometimes block off a portion of the heart or alter its structure, making it difficult to eliminate them. There are numerous benign tumors, but atrial myxoma is the most prevalent. Lipomas, fibromas, and papillary fibroelastomas are also types of tumors.

Let’s explore cardiac tumors in this post. The post highlights cardiac tumor symptoms and treatment options.

Cardiac Tumor

Cardiac tumors are malignant growths that originate in the heart. Some are mild or easily treatable, while others are lethal. When mass on the heart is detected early, patients typically receive better therapy and have a better prognosis.

Mass on the heart can range from one centimeter to fifteen centimeters. The severity of the symptoms and the amount of treatment depend on their size and location in your heart.

It is not clear what causes primary heart tumors. Some benign primary tumors may result from hereditary diseases such as the Carney complex.

Myxomas typically run in families, and at least some of them may be inherited. If you have cancer in another region of your body that can spread to your heart, such as melanoma, breast cancer, or lung cancer, you have an increased risk of developing heart cancer. The metastatic cardiac tumor is the spread of cancer from other organs, such as the lungs or skin, to the heart.

Types of Cardiac Tumor

Tumors can be of numerous shapes and sizes. Primary heart tumors originate in the heart and do not spread from elsewhere in the body. A secondary heart tumor is a cancer that has spread to the heart from another section of the body. Primary cardiac tumors are generally never malignant; however, they can occasionally transform into malignant tumors.

Cancer that has gone to the heart from another part of the body can create metastatic cardiac tumors. When a tumor has migrated to other organs, it is usually malignant because it originated from a malignant source.

Noncancerous Primary Tumor

Primary tumors are mostly benign. Mass on the heart can be dangerous if it alters how your heart functions and can raise the risk of having a stroke if left untreated.

These consist of:

Myxoma: It is the most prevalent benign primary cardiac tumor kind. It must be surgically removed to avoid potentially fatal complications, such as an embolism.

Fibroelastoma papillary: It is the second most prevalent benign primary cardiac tumor. This type of cancer develops on heart valves (usually your aortic or mitral valve).

Lipoma: The tumor manifests itself in numerous ways. It could be a small or substantial amount. Lipomas develop in the heart’s right atrium, left ventricle, or atrial septum (the wall separating your heart’s top chambers).

Cancerous Primary Tumor

5 to 25% of the initial cardiac tumors are malignant. Sarcoma is the most prevalent of the three cancers. 50% to 75% of heart cancer patients get sarcoma. There are a variety of sarcoma subtypes. The two prevalent types are:

Angiosarcoma: It is the most prevalent form of tumor in adults. Angiosarcomas typically develop in the right atrium or pericardium.

Rhabdomyosarcoma: It is the most common form affecting infants and young children. They occur in clusters and can develop in any chamber of the heart.

Metastatic Cardiac Tumor

These cancerous tumors result from the spread from other body organs. Below are the cancers that can metastasize to the heart:

  • Lung cancer
  • Breast cancer
  • Kidney cancer
  • Melanoma
  • Lymphoma

Cardiac Tumor Symptoms

The cardiac tumor symptoms depend on the location of the tumor, its size, and its type. Some tumors do not cause symptoms; however, most others cause non-specific symptoms. An atrial myxoma can cause you to sweat, have a high fever, have difficulty breathing, feel dizzy, experience chest pain and heart palpitations, or feel exhausted constantly. A malignant heart tumor can impact the organ in various ways, including creating symptoms of obstructed blood flow in the heart or causing fluid to accumulate around the heart’s outer layer (the pericardium). Sometimes, this can make breathing difficult, cause the heart to beat too quickly or slowly, induce blackouts, and even result in death.

heart disease detection

Most individuals with malignant tumors experience the sudden onset of symptoms. There is a potential that mild heart tumor symptoms will worsen with time.

The following are some of the cardiac tumor symptoms:

  • Chest discomfort
  • Fatigue
  • Dizziness
  • Heart palpitations
  • Night sweats
  • Shortness of breath
  • Fever
  • Weight loss

The below tests are conducted for the diagnosis of tumors:

  • Echocardiogram
  • Electrocardiogram
  • Cardiovascular MRI
  • Chest X-ray
  • Cardiac CT Scan

Treatment of Tumor

There are various treatment options for the various types of cardiac tumors.

Noncancerous primary tumor

Surgery is an effective method for removing benign primary tumors as long as the tumors are not too large. Occasionally, larger tumors cannot be removed. The doctor recommends surgery if the tumor impairs your heart’s function.

Cancerous primary tumor

Primary cardiac malignant tumors are nearly always deadly and cannot be cured. Chemotherapy or radiation therapy may be able to halt the progression of the malignancy. Your doctor may also prescribe medication to assist with any issues.

Metastatic hear tumor

Options for treating cancer that has spread to the heart vary on where cancer originated. Chemotherapy or surgery may be part of the plan to eliminate the tumor. Your physician may place tubes in your chest to remove any excess fluid produced by the tumor. They may also administer medications directly into the heart to prevent fluid accumulation or limit tumor growth.


A cardiac tumor or mass on the heart can impact your health and life in various ways. Most benign tumors are surgically removed without difficulty. Some tumors, especially malignant ones, may be more difficult to treat than others.

You must refer to a doctor if you experience cardiac tumor symptoms. Although heart tumors are uncommon, they are dangerous diseases that must be treated in a specialized hospital for optimal results. Experts at HG Analytics are here for your assistance in this regard. Book your consultation with us now.

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