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posterior mediastinal tumor

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Last Friday, I went in for a cardiac catheter procedure. I have hypertensive cardiomyopathy and 2nd degree AV block type 2. The procedure was to assess the state of my arteries before determining the need for a pacemaker. At that time, the cardiologist found a "mass" located directly behind my heart. I was immediately sent for an MRI the same day. The cardiologist there concluded that I have a posterior mediastinal tumor approximately 4.5cm in size directly behind the heart. Both main arteries run to this "very vascular" tumor. I am being referred to a thoracic surgeon Monday. Has anyone else had experience with this? I am relatively sure it is a neurogenic tumor of some kind which tend to be benign, but considering it is tied into my arteries and I have had loads of symptoms (back pain, chest pain, bradycardia, tachycardia, fatigue, dizziness, etc) I am slightly concerned. I am also not sure how it can be operated on considering its location. Any advice would be appreciated.
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replied January 29th, 2017
Welcome to e health forum.

Cardiac tumors are abnormal growths in the heart or heart valves. There are many types of cardiac tumors. But, cardiac tumors, in general, are rare. The tumors can be cancerous (malignant) or noncancerous (benign).

The most common type of primary cardiac tumor is myxoma. Most of these are benign.

Other types of benign primary tumors are papillary fibroelastomas, fibromas, rhabdomyomas, hemangiomas, teratomas, lipomas, paragangliomas and pericardial cysts. Malignant primary tumors include pericardial mesothelioma, primary lymphoma and sarcoma.

Secondary cardiac tumors are much more common than primary tumors. They do not start in the heart. Instead, they move to the heart after developing in another area of the body. Most often, these tumors start in the lungs, breasts, stomach, kidneys, liver or colon. They can also be tumors related to lymphoma, leukemia or melanoma.

Because cardiac tumors can lead to problems with blood flow, surgery to remove the tumor is usually the treatment of choice. But, whether surgery is needed depends on the tumor size, whether it causes symptoms, and the patient’s overall health.

Removal requires open heart surgery. But, in many cases, the surgery can be done robotically or using a minimally invasive technique. During the surgery, the surgeon removes the tumor and the tissue around it to reduce the risk of the tumor returning.

It would be recommended that you continue to work with your treating doctor and seek proper treatment.

I hope this helps.

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