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Even the heart can have cancer – when this can happen


Heart disease is the leading cause of death in Germany and then a long way to cancer. It's rarely a combination of both: cancer in the heart. But there he is.

Tumors in the heart are extremely rare. If this occurs, it is in about three-quarters of cases of benign tumors – which are also life-threatening and should be removed as soon as possible by surgery.

Primary tumors of the heart are particularly rare

One study shows that primary heart tumors – those that develop at the very heart – appear in about 1.38 out of every 100,000 people per year, reports the American Heart Association in later reports.

Genetic malformations can be the cause

More often, cancer spreads to the heart from the lungs, breasts, or other parts of the body, says Monique Leah, a Cardiologist from the Frankel Cardiovascular Center at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.

If tumors develop in the heart, it is likely to be "the result of genetic abnormalities," says Leah. Because heart is not a common place for cancer growth.

Connective tissue is rarely affected by cancer

The reason for this is the composition of the heart, according to Scott Schuetze, a professor at the University of Michigan. The heart therefore consists of a connective tissue that is not susceptible to cancer. More often, epithelial tissue develops tumors that connect organs such as prostate, breast, intestine, pancreas, stomach, esophagus and skin and have no blood vessels.

Heart disease often affects the tissue of the blood

The heart is susceptible to diseases that affect the blood vessels. Schuetze calls atherosclerosis and hypertension as examples. Since the heart for its work is highly dependent on the flow of blood, the heart is also prone to diseases that affect the muscle or pump function.

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