Cardiac Tumors Program

Cardiac Tumors Program

The Cardiac Tumors Program at Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi provides specialized care and support for people diagnosed with Cardiac Tumors.



The Cardiac Tumors Program at Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi provides specialized care and support for people diagnosed with Cardiac Tumors, close to home. Our multidisciplinary team of experts takes a comprehensive approach to your treatment, coordinating among our specialists and offering a range of support services so you receive the highest quality care. 

Cardiac Tumors Program
  • Why Choose Us?
  • What We Treat
  • Symptoms
  • Diagnosis & Treatment
  • Prevention & Screening
  • Program Caregivers

Why Choose Us?

The Cardiac Tumors Program team at Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi uses a multidisciplinary approach to improve outcomes for patients with cardiac tumors or masses. We offer our patients access to the latest diagnostic technology, innovative treatments and advanced surgical procedures supporting better outcomes.   

Our team includes specialists in cardiology, oncology, imaging, surgery, and pathology all under one roof. Together we'll provide you with a comprehensive assessment and individualized treatment plan. 

Our multidisciplinary tumor board meets once a week to discuss each patient. Specialists in treating lung cancers and tumors, esophageal cancer and other cancers of the chest sit together to talk through the best treatment options, including clinical trials, for each individual. Patients get the benefit of several expert opinions. 


What We Treat

Cardiac tumors can develop in many areas of the heart. Primary heart tumors start in the heart and can be cancerous or noncancerous, and metastatic heart tumors form when cancer has spread to the heart from another part of the body.  

  • Noncancerous primary heart tumors: Most primary heart tumors are noncancerous but can interfere with your heart’s function so they must be treated. Types of noncancerous primary heart tumors include:  
  • Myxoma: The most common type of noncancerous primary heart tumor which usually develops in the left atrium. 
  • Papillary fibroelastoma: A noncancerous primary heart tumor that usually grows on heart valves (the aortic or mitral valve). Surgery is usually recommended to reduce the risk of embolism. 
  • Lipoma: Small or large tumors which usually develop in the left ventricle, right atrium or atrial septum. 
  • Hemangioma: Usually without symptoms, they are often diagnosed during tests for other conditions. They often occur with tumors on the skin or in the gastrointestinal tract.

Cancerous primary heart tumors 

A smaller percentage of primary heart tumors are cancerous. These can include: 

  • The most common type of cancerous primary tumor, with subtypes including: 
  • Angiosarcoma: The most common, which usually develops in the right atrium or pericardium. 
  • Rhabdomyosarcoma: More common in children, these sometimes develop in groups and can form in any heart chamber.

Symptoms, Causes & Risk Factors

Symptoms of Cardiac Tumors

The symptoms of cardiac heart tumors will vary depending on the type and its location. They can range from very mild to life-threatening. Often, the symptoms are similar to those caused by many other conditions, so it may not be obvious that a heart tumor is present.  

In general, symptoms of cancerous heart tumors begin suddenly and quickly get worse. Symptoms of noncancerous heart tumors usually appear more gradually. 

More commons symptoms of cardiac tumors: 

  • Tiredness 
  • Chest discomfort 
  • Shortness of breath  
  • Chills and fever 
  • Dizziness and fainting 
  • Pain in your joints  
  • Heart palpitations  
  • Night sweats  
  • Loss of appetite 
  • Swelling in your legs 
  • Weight loss. 

Causes & Risk Factors of Cardiac Tumors

The causes of heart tumors vary, but the majority are believed to be caused by the abnormal growth of heart tissue cells. A small number are genetically inherited, which can be discovered with genetic testing. However, in most cases, cardiac tumors develop without any family history. 


Diagnosis & Treatment

Diagnosis of Cardiac Tumors  

Imaging tests are used to diagnose cardiac tumors or they may be discovered when a test is ordered for another condition. Diagnosing primary heart tumors can be hard as their signs and symptoms are often similar to other conditions. However, there is something called “tumor plop” when listening to the heart which is unique to cardiac tumors (due to the tumor blocking the mitral valve). 

The following tests may be ordered to confirm a diagnosis: 

  • Transthoracic echocardiogram: An echocardiogram to find tumors in the ventricles (lower chambers of the heart). 
  • Transesophageal echocardiogram. An echo to find tumors in the upper chambers of the heart (atria).  
  • Cardiac MRI: To reveal further details about the tumor. 
  • Contrast-enhanced cardiac CT scans: Used in people who can’t undergo an MRI and to view the whole chest area, including lungs, blood vessels and coronary arteries. 
  • PET scan: To see if cancer has spread from another part of the body.

Treatment for Cardiac Tumors

Treatment will vary depending on the type of tumor and its location. 

  • Noncancerous primary heart tumors: Surgery can remove smaller tumors, but larger ones may be hard to remove.  
  • Cancerous primary heart tumors: Chemotherapy or radiation can be given to slow the cancer’s progression. They cannot usually be removed by surgery.  
  • Metastatic heart tumors: Treatment might include chemotherapy or surgery but will depend on the cancer’s origin.

Prevention & Screening

Doctors don’t fully understand what causes cardiac tumors. However, they do know that smoking may increase your risk. Following a healthy diet and exercising regularly can help to reduce your risk of many types of cancer.


Program Caregivers

Our Cardiac Tumors team have extensive expertise in this field. The team provides excellent, Patients First medical care based on current United States and international guidelines.


Cardiac Tumors Program Doctors

Meet the doctors who can help with Cardiac Tumors Program

Loading data please wait ...

Loading data please wait ...

To request an appointment, call 800 8 2223

Patient Stories

Hear inspiring stories from our patients

View Story

Speak with our Contact Center for assistance

Request an Appointment 800 8 2223 International Patients