Heart Tumors

Also known as: cardiac tumor, myxoma, primary heart tumor, secondary heart tumor

​What are heart tumors?

If a tumor, or a foreign growth of tissue, develops in the heart, it is known as a heart or cardiac tumor. Tumors can develop on the heart tissue (primary, or myxoma) or start elsewhere in the body and spread to the heart (secondary). Some cause cancer (malignant), and some do not (benign).


What causes heart tumors?

A number of heart tumors develop for unknown reasons. In some cases, there is a family history of heart tumors. Other times, they develop as a complication of another medical condition.


What are the symptoms of heart tumors?

Many heart tumors do not cause any symptoms. If the tumor is blocking the flow of blood, it’s possible to develop a cough, fever, pain, shortness of breath, or lightheadedness.


What are heart tumor care options?

If the tumor is small or not causing any symptoms, no treatment is often needed. In other instances, surgery to remove the tumor is the treatment of choice.

Reviewed by: Anthony F. Rossi, MD

This page was last updated on: 10/14/2017 3:00:24 PM

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