Heart and tumors: Location, metastasis, clinical manifestations, diagnostic approaches and therapeutic considerations
Ekmektzoglou, Konstantinos A.
Samelis, Georgios Fotios
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Cardiac neoplasms, whether primary or secondary, are more and more easily diagnosed in the present era. For the primary heart tumors, myxomas and sarcomas constitute the most common neoplasms, whereas for the secondary ones, lung cancer constitutes the most common primary location. Cardiac neoplasms may involve the endocardium, the myocardium, the epicardium, the valves or any combination of these. Their clinical manifestations are not specific and depend on their anatomic location and size. Diagnosis of cardiac neoplasms has become more feasible with the use of echocardiography and other imaging techniques (computed tomography and magnetic resonance). The major problem, however, still remains that most diagnoses are late, especially for malignant tumors. For resectable tumors, surgery remains the mainstay of treatment, whereas for metastatic disease palliative treatment remains the only therapeutic option. This paper reviews the types of heart tumors, their clinical symptoms, the diagnostic approaches and the therapeutic tools used by physicians.