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Heart condition cause by rare tumor - WPLG Local 10

Rare tumor may be cause of heart condition

Medical experts are trying to better understand a rare condition called cardiac angio-sarcoma which mimics the symptoms of heart disease but is actually caused by a tumor.

WESTON, Fla. – Medical experts are trying to better understand a rare condition called cardiac angio-sarcoma which mimics the symptoms of heart disease but is actually caused by a tumor.

“Generally a person may have symptoms that include swelling of the legs, distention of the abdomen, dizziness, passing out spells, palpitations and these are very common symptoms and cardio-sarcomas are very rare so we should not associate these symptoms with heart tumors right away,” said Dr. David Lopez, a cardiologist with Cleveland Clinic Weston.

Lopez said imaging tests are the key to proper diagnosis although treatment options are limited.

Surgery to remove the tumor can be tricky because of its location in the heart and radiation therapy would damage the heart muscle, leaving various forms of chemotherapy as the main approach.

And a global study into the causes of stroke found emotional upset and physical exertion can both be triggers.

The INTERSTROKE study, the largest research project of its kind, analyzed over 13,000 cases of acute stroke involving patients with a range of ethnic backgrounds in 32 countries.

The study found that one in every 11 survivors experienced a period of anger or upset in the hour leading up to their stroke and one in every 20 patients had engaged in heavy physical activity prior to the event.

The authors said the findings highlight the need for mental and physical wellness at all ages and for those at high risk of cardiovascular disease to avoid heavy physical exertion, but continue to engage in regular exercise.

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About the Authors:

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Kathleen Corso

Veteran journalist Kathleen Corso is the special projects producer for Local 10 News.

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Kristi Krueger

Kristi Krueger has built a solid reputation as an award-winning medical reporter and effervescent anchor. She joined Local 10 in August 1993. After many years co-anchoring the 6 p.m. and 11 p.m., Kristi now co-anchors the noon newscasts, giving her more time in the evening with her family.