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: 6/12/2018 1:27:53 PM


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Juan Carlos Muniz, MD of Nicklaus Children's Hospital is the Director of Cardiac Non Invasive Imaging at The Heart Program.

Call for an appointment:
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The Heart Program provides care for more children with congenital heart disorders than any other hospital in Florida and has been ranked among the nation’s best for pediatric cardiology and heart surgery by U.S.News & World Report.

Our program doesn’t just focus on mending the heart, but on supporting the whole child in sickness and in health. From screening and prevention to safe exercise and healthy weight programs – it’s a life-long, holistic and planned approach to the care of a child living with heart disease. 

It’s about a team of more than 200 specialists, nurses, technicians, therapists, and caregivers – whose unwavering commitment will give your child the best chance in health, throughout life’s journey. It’s a program of devotion, support, education and advocacy until your child transitions into adulthood, as healthy as they can be.