Discussion Question 1
1. Background (demographic distributions – prevalence or incidence, sex/race/age predilections, etc. – associated with the disease and the aetiology of this disease process.
Though considered rare in the context of cardiac neoplasm, cardiac angiosarcoma is the most commonly observed histological subtype that is characterized by its pervading and destructive nature (Patel et al., 2014). It has been observed that as per the autopsy incidence rate perspective the autopsy incidence of cardiovascular surgical cases is 0.0001-0.030 per cent which constitutes around one in every five hundred cardiovascular surgical cases (Look-Hong et al., 2012). It is noteworthy that, while the majority of tumours are benign constituting seventy-five per cent; of the remaining twenty-five per cent of tumours identified as malignant tumours, cardiac angiosarcoma comprises about ninety-five per cent of cases (Blackmon & Reardon, 2009).
2. The risk factors, symptoms, and clinical presentation of this disease.
The risk factors of the disease include radiation therapy, lymphedema (swelling caused by lymph vessel damage, and certain chemicals including vinyl chloride and arsenic (Mayo Clinic Staff, 2020). The symptoms and clinical presentation of the disease include a bruise-like lesion growing larger over time, a raised purplish portion of skin that looks like a bruise, a bleeding lesion caused by scratching or bumping and swelling in the surrounding skin (Mayo Clinic Staff, 2020).
3. Typical laboratory and diagnostic findings for this diagnosis (specific blood values, etc.)
Typically, imaging studies like CT, nuclear magnetic resonance, ultrasound and echocardiography have been conserved to be the means of diagnosing the disease (Patel et al., 2014). In this respect, it must be said that echocardiography is the primary mode of evaluation of cardiac tumours (Patel et al., 2014). In this regard, it has to be noted that, transesophageal echocardiography has around ninety-seven per cent sensitivity in detecting such cardiac masses (Riles et al., 2012).
4. A brief review of treatments used including an explanation of why the treatment is effective in restoring normal physiology and if serious side effects are associated.
It has to be taken into account that though medical and surgical science has made great strides and advancements, in terms of treating cardiac angiosarcoma the surgical resection remains the standard mode of operation but it is highly resistant to chemotherapy and/or radiation (Patel et al., 2014).
5. Complications, prognosis
Cardiac angiosarcoma has been observed to be most commonly found in the right atrium and it has a bad reputation of frequently interfering with neighbouring structures that result in congestive heart failure, pericardial diffusion, and cardiac tamponade (Patel et al., 2014). Moreover, it should be taken into account that the prognosis is quite poor and most the patients succumb to the disease within several months of diagnosis (Glancy, Morales, & Roberts, 1968).
6. Prevention of complications of the disease itself, if applicable.
As a form of prevention of the disease and its complications, doctors often prefer to start the treatment of nonmetastatic cardiac sarcoma including exploration for local control of the primary tumour which is meant for relieving obstructive symptoms and can provide the patient with the to survive in a prolonged manner in a disease-free way (Patel et al., 2014).
7. Provide a starting point for the discussion by describing any controversies or new advances. You may wish to create specific questions to pose to your colleagues, include your own opinion, and/ or provide a real-life example.
No specific breakthrough can be made still in terms of thoroughly curing the disease. But it has been observed that the majority of patients suffering from the disease respond well to combination therapy including docetaxel and radiotherapy processes (Nakamura-Horigome et al., 2008).