Tumor Better Days: Treating Malignant Cardiac Tumors

The Bad Tremor of Cardiac Tumors

Is cardiac tumor, heart cancer? We likely cause unnecessary fear and panic if we don’t know the severity of our condition. Well, to be fair, a tumor is an abnormal growth of cells, so it makes you uneasy. Most tumors that begin in the heart are not cancerous. But few heart tumors can be cancerous. 

Commonly, cardiovascular cancer called sarcoma emanates from the body’s soft tissues. However, primary cardiac tumors that develop cancer is a rarity. And as much as we steer clear from the thought that cancer is a death sentence, rare diseases can also be deadly.

Let’s examine the different classifications of cardiac tumors and how to deal with them. 

Benign Tumors vs. Malignant Tumors

It has been shown in an MSD Manual 2021 topic that approximately 80% of primary cardiac tumor cases are benign, and the remaining 20% are malignant. They occur mostly in the myocardium or endocardium but can also originate in any other cardiac tissue.

Benign tumors are noncancerous ones. This type of tumor could grow to a certain limit, but it isn’t usually a cause for alarm. However, they may cause compression of tissues and vital organs like blood vessels. It can restrict blood flow to an area of the body. The common types of benign tumors include fibromas and hemangiomas. 

Fibromas are tumors that develop in the fibrous, and connective tissues can grow into the organs. Hemangiomas is an accumulation of blood vessels in the internal organs, which are regarded as birthmarks.

On the other, malignant tumors are cancerous ones. They do not just compress vital structures but invade and spread to the parts of the body as cancer does through metastasis. While benign tumors grow gradually with a regular border, malignant tumors have irregular borders. The blood and lymphatic system can rapidly become marked territory by those cancerous cells. 

Sarcoma: The Common and Rare 

The most known type of malignant cardiac tumor is sarcoma. They primarily affect middle-aged adults. There are various types of sarcoma depending on the location of growth of the abnormal mass of cells. To reiterate, malignant cardiac tumors along with sarcoma are rare, and certain types are even rarer. Both common and rare types include:

  • Cardiac angiosarcoma – They make up about 40% of all heart sarcomas. They start manifesting in the right atrium (upper chamber) and hits the pericardium (exterior) of the heart. The circumvention of blood inflow and outflow can cause swelling in the lower limbs and bulging of the neck veins because the blood that’s coming back to the heart, after supplying nutrients, oxygen, and water to the cells all around the body, cannot easily pass in the right atrium.
  • Cardiac leiomyosarcoma – They account for 10% to 20% of soft tissue sarcoma cases. They begin in the smooth muscles of the heart. Although the rarest next to fibrosarcomas and osteosarcomas, leiomyosarcoma can affect almost every demographic — the old, young, female, male. 
  • Cardiac rhabdomyosarcoma – They make up nearly 20% of all primary malignant cardiac neoplasms. These tumors emerge from the ventricular walls and, for adult patients, from the atrial walls and imitate atrioventricular valve stenosis. Depending on the propagation of the tumors, patients may feel chest pain and pericardial effusion.

Treating Malignant Tumors

Because prognosis is poor, treatment of malignant tumors is systemic or palliative. Metastatic tumors, most particularly, are treated based on tumor type and origin.

Radiation Therapy

This is a classic treatment for cancer as it controls the spread of the abnormal mass of cells. Similar to chemotherapy, it makes surgery possible, which is primarily the solution for benign cardiac tumors. A high-energy beam such as proton or X-ray is used. Determining if this is the therapy a cancer patient needs is best left at the hands of the doctor. Of course, it can also be combined with other approaches and tools.


The intuitive solution for the development and enlargement of tumors is shrinking and relieving the symptoms. Chemotherapy does that through the use of special drugs to destroy cancer cells. Shrinking and slowing the growth of cancer cells make surgical removal possible and easier. Your healthcare provider will tell you more about how chemotherapy circulates through your entire system.


Your immune system weakens at the dominance of cancerous tumors. Immunotherapy drugs can help fight cancer subject to a clinical trial that a patient can join. This method can also supplement other treatments like chemotherapy to make it better. Unlike chemo, which targets your bloodstream and cells throughout the body, immunotherapy only focuses on the immune system, so it has fewer side effects.


Replacing your cardiovascular organ with a healthy one is also an option. Patients can experience heart failure along with other causes that no longer respond to medical treatment, so a transplant is their next hope for longer life. Surgery is only one step of the complicated and rigorous process. However, it can provide long-term survival with no tumor recurrence, even if there is therapeutic immunosuppression. Before qualifying for a transplant, the patient undergoes evaluation.


Technically referred to as surgical excision, this procedure, combined with chemotherapy, stands as the most viable treatment. 

The difficulty arises because being an invasive and extensive treatment because vital cardiac structures can also be affected. It helps to have a more comprehensive cancer treatment strategy, right? How about a medical facility integrating systemic conventional medicine with alternative medicine?

It’s wise to ask questions to medical professionals who are both transparent and hopeful. Hopeful not in a false sense kind of way. Your New Hope Unlimited team of clinical experts will guide you through the entire process. Contact us today.


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