The heart is one of the most important organs of the human body. Heart cancer is a form of the dreaded disease cancer, which affects the tissues of the heart. However, with an occurrence rate of less than 1 percent, heart cancer is considered as an extremely rare form of cancer. Heart cancer is of two types: primary heart cancer, which has its origins inside the heart itself and secondary heart cancer, which starts developing in any other part of the body and then spreads to the heart. Mostly, the soft tissue cells such as the lymphomas are accountable for the development of malignant cells inside the heart. The symptoms of heart cancer can be similar to the symptoms of a number of other cardiac conditions like arrhythmia and congestive heart disease. After expansion inside the heart, the cancerous cells usually spread to other areas of the body.

As heart cancer is an extremely rare form of cancer, the exact causes of heart cancer are still not clear. The commonly known causes of heart cancer are-

Other cancers:

most cases of heart cancer are the resultant of a metastasis of cancer in some other parts of the body. For example, melanoma (which is a type of skin cancer) is also another kind of cancer which can spread to the heart quite easily. Lymphoma (a cancer of the lymphatic system) is a frequent cause of heart cancer, especially when the lymphoma creates a lymph node close to the heart. Yet another type of cancer which can spread to the heart is sarcoma, which grows in the connective tissues, which are the tissues that envelop and sustain the different organs in the body.


It has been observed that the radiation therapy administered to treat other forms of cancer can also be one of the causes of heart cancer. The cells which line the walls of the blood vessels and lymph ducts inside the heart are more susceptible to developing tumors which can be cancerous. The tumors which develop inside the blood vessels are called haemangiosarcomas and the tumors which develop in the lymph ducts are known as lymphangiosarcomas. Together, they formulate angiosarcomas, which is commonest type of malignant heart tumor.

Industrial chemicals:

such as nickel, benzene, cadmium and vinyl chloride have all been associated with the occurrence of heart cancer.

Tobacco products:

such as cigarettes, pipes and cigars can also be the causes of heart cancer.


is an unavoidable cause of heart cancer. Similar to other malignant diseases, heart cancer also tends to pass on from one generation to another within a family.