Essay on Atrial Myxoma: Cancer Research

Essay on Atrial Myxoma: Cancer Research

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The cancer I chose to research is Atrial Myxoma. This is the most common form of primary heart tumors. These occur largely in adults, more specifically women. The age range is predicted to be three to eighty-three years of age. In sporadic cases, the mean age is fifty-six. In familial cases, the mean age is twenty-five. Seventy-five percent are found in women. Most of these tumors are benign, meaning they can be removed without causing death or serious injury to one’s body.
There are two different places where this cancer can be found; the left Atrium and the right Atrium. This cancer is found about eighty percent of the time in the left Atrium and about seven to twenty percent in the right Atrium. Tumors found in the left Atrium usually begin in the wall that divides the two upper chambers of the heart. This wall is called the Atrial Septum.
Atrial Myxomas are closely related to an autosomal-dominant syndrome called Carney Complex (CNC). The Myxomas occur in the setting of spotty skin pigmentation and endocrinopathy. The molecular analysis shows that mutations in PRKARIA are responsible in up to two-thirds of patients with CNC. This syndrome is genetically heterogeneous and is caused by a defect in more than one gene.
Unlike CNC, most Atrial Myxoma cases are sporadic. The underlying cause is unknown. One in ten of these tumors are familial, meaning they have been passed down by family. They tend to occur in more than one part of the heart at one time and often show signs and symptoms at a younger age. They have an autosomal dominant transmission, meaning that one regular gene is paired up with a mutant gene and copied. It has a fifty percent chance of being passed down through family.
These tumors are usually round and oval-sha...


... middle of paper ...


... are approached by biatral incision which requires a horizontal incision underneath your rib cage.
Blood tests show anemia in some people and increased white blood cells. The ESR (Erythrocyte Sedimentation) rate is also increased. Many patients use Pericardial or Dacron patches. Coronary bypass is performed, which is a procedure to increase the blood flow to the heart, therefore preventing further embolization. Tricuspid valves can also be reconstructed, depending on how serious the tumor.
The follow-up rate after reconstruction is between forty-six and three hundred and forty months. The overall survival rate is ninety-one percent at the age of forty years.
Many patients who have Atrial Myxoma can be easily treated. This non-cancerous tumor is benign and can be removed with surgery. Although the risk is not high, this can be potentially deadly for some patients.

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