Cardiac Tumours Prevalence Symptoms And Management
Posted By HealthcareOnTime Team
Posted on 2022-02-10
One of the most dreadful of diseases mankind has witnessed,
whose draconian treatment is as painful as the suffering it
brings, making the affected individual weary and helpless,
is Cancer. Even if you don't drink alcohol or get involved in
substance abuse, a gene switch is all it takes for your body
cells to turn up against you, and proliferate abnormally
without halting, appearing with dreary cancers of breast,
colon, blood, lung, etc. Cancers of all kinds have been
heard, talked about, and researched upon, but cancers
emanating from the Heart are widely researched, and
are generally less talked upon, thus lack awareness.
Any body cell carries the potential to become cancerous
if their DNA gets mutated, and heart is no exception.
Though rare, but abnormal cell growth originating in
the heart or its components is called Cardiac tumour.
Which may begin near the heart in organs like lungs
or spread to the cardiac cells via bloodstream after
originating from elsewhere in the body.
Cardiac Tumours Types
' Primary tumours - Heart being the site of origin,
these rare cancers often affect the heart lining and
valves and can be classified as non-cancerous and
cancerous primary heart tumours.
Why are Cardiac Tumours rare?
Several mutations lead a cancerous cell to become
invasive which occur mostly when these cells divide
and replicate their DNA to their daughter cells. Heart
cells function by pumping blood to different parts of
the body and don't replicate throughout one's life to
make new cardiac cells, until an injury strikes. Therefore,
this limited capacity of cell division and proliferation
decreases the chances of mutations to be passed
onto daughter cells, making cardiac tumors a rare
' Secondary tumours -
These are more
commonly observed and are formed when tumour
cells that develop from another body part like lungs,
breast, stomach, kidneys, etc. and move to the heart.
Any cardiac tumour poses various risks over time if
remains unidentified, resulting into lifethreatening
dangerous complications like blocking blood flow
causing heart failure, blood clots and stroke.
How are Cardiac Tumours identified?
Any cardiac tumour initially is asymptomatic, but manifests
with general symptoms mimicking other heart ailments, like
' Chest pain/tightness
' Breathing difficulties
' Rapid or irregular heart rate
' Fatigue and dizziness
' Heart palpitations
' Inflammation with fever
' Unexpected weight gain
' Swelling in feet and ankles
Such general symptoms, when exist for a long time and
don't subside even with treatments, cause heart murmurs,
abnormal heart rhythms or unexplained symptoms of heart
failure. These usually prompt a doctor in case of suspected
cardiac tumour, to confirm with various specialised screening
tests like echocardiogram to identify the presence of tumour
masses along with performing Computed Tomography (CT Scans)
or Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans to visualise
the exact location of tumours (if any).
Treatment of Cardiac Tumours
Radiation, chemotherapy and surgeries to remove cancer
cells are a few treatment modalities for such cancer patients,
however a successful/healthful recovery remains subjective
to severity of tumour and efficiency of prescribed treatment.
What exactly causes these aberrant growths in heart is still
unknown, but an abnormal regulation of cell division with
immune system irregularities, exposure to viruses, radiation,
substances like tobacco and benzene or just inheriting the
culprit gene, may shovel the path to Cardiac tumour. Heart
is not exposed to carcinogens openly, therefore chances of
acquiring a cardiac tumour is rare but it still can't be
prevented which makes a prompt and timely diagnosis
the only way to manage if it strikes!