Heart cancer is rare and develops in the tissues of the heart. You can get heart cancer due to some risk factors. They are:
- Tobacco: The use of tobacco or near to tobacco smoke increases your risk factor. Smokers have more risk than the non-smokers. 180, 000 Americans die due to cancers related to the use of tobacco. If you make use of tobacco for chewing you will get mouth cancer.
- Chemicals: If you are working in chemical factory, then you have higher risk. Exposure to benzene, nickel, vinyl chloride and cadmium can cause heart cancer.
- Bacteria and viruses: Infection due to viruses and bacteria increase the risk of heart cancer.
- Family history: You can have higher risk for cancer development with family history of cancer.
The heart tumor does not cause any minor symptoms or life threatening symptoms. But the tumors can cause blood pressure decrease due to bleeding, abnormal heart rhythms and heart failure.
Heart murmurs develop near the heart-valve. The myxoma degenerate into small pieces and pass through the blood stream blocking the blood flow and arteries.
The symptoms depend up on the organs affected and the emboli clots goes or not.
As the primary tumors resemble that of other disorders and they are uncommon relatively, they cannot be diagnosed. The heart cancer is suspected in you, if you have abnormal heart rhythms, unexplained fever, and unexpected symptoms of heart failure and heart murmurs.
The echocardiography is used to diagnose the heart cancer if these symptoms persist in you. By this method, the pictures of heart structures are taken by passing the probe over the chest that produces the ultra sound waves.
For any additional information, the MRI and CT scan can be done. An out line of heart tumor can be produced by coronary angiography that can be seen on x-rays. But this is rarely used.
When the tumor appears on right side of your heart, then the sample tissue is removed for testing under microscope. This is done by passing the catheter from leg through the veins to reach the heart. This procedure is called as cardiac catheterization.
By this method, the tumor can be identified and the proper treatment can be suggested by the doctor. If tumors appear on left side of your heart, then biopsy is done. But this is risky.
The primary non cancerous heart tumors are removed by surgery. Large noncancerous tumor that reduces the blood flow involves the removal of small part of the tumor that makes the normal function of the heart. Surgery is impossible when the removal of large tumors is involved.
The primary cancerous tumors become fatal if they are not removed by surgery. For this purpose the chemotherapy and radiotherapy are used.
By surgery, the noncancerous tumors that are spread in pericardium can be removed but the noncancerous tumors that are spread in other parts cannot be removed surgically.
The fluid is drained out by inserting a small needle between heart and pericardium that is secreted by the tumor which blocks the heart motion. To slow down the tumor growth, some drugs are injected into the pericardial space.
The above are the possible methods that are used for treating a heart cancer patient.