Why Is Heart Cancer So Rare?

Why Is Heart Cancer So Rare?


Every day, super-tiny cells are waging wars
inside of us. These ferocious fighters are too small for us to see without a microscope,
but they’re capable of overtaking just about any organ in your body. They’re cancer cells, and they’re actually
constantly arising inside of us. Most of the time, our immune system seeks them out and
neutralizes them. But it’s not always successful. That’s because cancer is not simply one
disease—it’s many. Cancer cells can attack your brain, your liver, your lungs, and a
lot of other super-important parts of your body. But what about your heart? Heart cancer isn’t
a thing you hear much about. That’s because it — almost — doesn’t
exist. Most hospitals report fewer than one case
of heart cancer per year. So why are tumors on this organ so rare? Well, those cancer cells we were just talking
about get their power from their ability to divide and multiply. Cancerous cells become a problem when they
start to divide uncontrollably and take over everything. When they’re behaving normally, cells know
when to stop replicating based on instructions encoded in their DNA. Cancerous cells just don’t get the memo
and keep replicating, and then replicating… and then replicating some more. But unlike cells in other organs, our heart
cells do almost all of their dividing during fetal development. Sometimes—but not often—tumors can form
in fetuses while these cells are still able to divide. Once we’re born, though, our heart cells
stop dividing. Tumors that might have grown while we were in utero tend to stop growing
at this point. That’s because our hearts are mostly made
of muscle cells, which can grow in proportion to our bodies, but they don’t multiply the
same way that other cells in our bodies do. See, every cell in your body has a chance
of becoming abnormal if its DNA is damaged. A few abnormal cells is OK, so long as they’re
kept under control by our immune system. The problem arises when these cells start
to divide uncontrollably, and form lumps or growths. Some of these growths might be benign,
but… sometimes they aren’t. But since very little cell division happens
in the heart, problem cells are much less likely to turn into a cancerous growth. So yes, you can get heart cancer. But it’s
extremely rare, and either begins elsewhere in the body and spreads to the heart through
the bloodstream, or it affects babies who got the disease in utero. Which means: if you’re old enough to be
watching this video, you probably have one less thing to worry about. Thanks for asking, and thanks especially to
all of our patrons on Patreon who keep these answers coming. If you’d like to submit
questions to be answered, or get these Quick Questions a few days before everyone else,
go to patreon.com/scishow. And don’t forget to go to youtube.com/scishow and subscribe!

100 Replies to “Why Is Heart Cancer So Rare?”

  1. i never pay attention to these videos i just put them on and i daze off until the video is over… im really upset with my self

  2. You actually gave us around a 1 second explanation in this video – heart cells are muscle cells so they don't multiply in the same way other cells do, great I really know more now… not!

  3. If cancer cells are replicating out of control, how can brain cancer develop then? Assuming it forms from neurons, it shouldn't happen since neurons don't replicate. Unless it forms from glial cells. I dunno, but I need to look this up now.

  4. Did it bother anyone else that around the 1 minute mark the animation split from 2 into 3 then from 3 into 4….that's not how cell division works, although to be fair I guess they could be at different points in the cell cycle but still this bugged me way to much lol

  5. my mom had angiosarcoma (a type of cancer) of the heart and passed in 2014, so it does happen. and we didn't find out why she was in so much pain and sick until her autopsy. she even got tested to see if she had cancer while she was alive and the tests came back negative. so I guess it's pretty hard to detect heart cancer too even when you do have it.

  6. I always wonder why you never hear of diseases infecting adipose tissue? Obesity is an epidemic they say, fat stores energy, why no bacterial epidemic attacking fat cells to get that energy.

  7. "Heart cancer is super rare". Yeah, it's a case for Dr. House and the girl with leukemia, a brain aneurysm and pericardium cancer!

  8. If cancer is so powerful why don’t we just engineer it to fight for us
    Then cancer wouldn’t be a thing and since cancer is stronger then normal cells we could fight disease more easily

  9. The same story can be applied for any nonregenitive, or nondiving, cells such as skeletal muscles and neurons. Cancer cells arise MAINLY in quick, rapidly dividing cells as they can and do tend to pass on genetic mutations more readily due to the rapid divisions such as cells that line our epithelium, ie. lung, skin, breast, colon… the list goes on.

  10. Old Kiss Drummer Eric Carr had Heart cancer. Had it treated but suffered a brain hemorrhage and never regained consciousness.

  11. Heart cancer? I didn't even know that existed (im literally starting to study for medical school) I want to get a head start (I'm in 7th grade)

  12. Why go the expensive treatment when Dr. Bello is there to help you get rid of that incurable disease. I a testimony made by Alexander Millin, How he got cured from HIV VIRUS. he also dropped the contact address: [email protected] to reach Dr Bello if anyone need his help to cure any type of disease or viral infection. I contacted him thank God I did. Four months ago when my doctor looked at me in disbelief and told me that my test all came back negative that my HSV 2 seemed to be gone completely from my body, I literally could not stop crying tears of joy. Thank you Dr. Bello for all the incredible work you're doing, You've save my life. , I'll forever remain grateful.

  13. My dad got cancer about 2 years ago. It started in his kidney, but has spread basically everywhere. It spread to his heart in June 2017, and the tumor was removed. It reappeared back in (the doctors think) as early as August. We took him to the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota, and they removed a 7 centimeter tumor. He should be back tomorrow. He hasn't even turned 50 yet

  14. my aunt is now battling breast cancer, please pray and support hopefully quickly removed the disease ..

    https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.technomedia.heartcancertreatment

  15. I know someone who had a tumor grow on his ventricle. It was too delicate to remove at first so they had to shrink it w radiation, they remove it. He recovered fully

  16. Didn’t watch the video yet and I’m just Going to quess it’s because cancer is cussed by cells divided wrong and since heart cells don’t divide there’s no way for cancer to occur

  17. But what about brain cancer? The brain cell's also dont usually replicate but we still have a big rate of brain cancer

  18. Heres a question. How do people control there eye lenses consciously because i can unfocus my own eyes at will blurring out lights at night to make them appear 6 times larger then normal. I can even relax my muscles so far in short burst that i feel numb all over and tingly in all my muscles through my body when ever i like though neither ability helps me in any way. Its just curious for me to know how much control we realy do have of things in our body thought to be controlled by the brain.

  19. Its weird how a "Growth" kills people, I know growing cancer does immense damage to your organs, I've always heard that cancer itself isn't deadly, its the damage it causes that is deadly, but lets say cancer starts in your
    Knee, if you remove the leg you remove the growth right? Therefore removing the cancer, so you lose a leg and not your life. Maybe I'm just uneducated about how cancer works.

  20. I could answer this without watching the video.
    Heart cells do not regenerate, meaning that no new cells are created. Normal cells replicate every day, as old ones are destroyed. Apoptosis then triggers new cell division. Once heart cells perish, you're screwed.

    Doesn't work for heart tissue.

  21. I actually know someone who died of heart cancer. Absolute freak occurrence. Was given two weeks to live and lived for 10.

  22. وَإِذَا مَرِضْتُ فَهُوَ يَشْفِينِ

    "And when I am ill, it is He Who cures me;

    وَاذْكُرْ عَبْدَنَا أَيُّوبَ إِذْ نَادَىٰ رَبَّهُ أَنِّي مَسَّنِيَ الشَّيْطَانُ بِنُصْبٍ وَعَذَابٍ

    Commemorate Our Servant Job. Behold he cried to his Lord: "The Evil One has afflicted me with distress and suffering!"

    وَأَيُّوبَ إِذْ نَادَىٰ رَبَّهُ أَنِّي مَسَّنِيَ الضُّرُّ وَأَنْتَ أَرْحَمُ الرَّاحِمِينَ

    And (remember) Job, when He cried to his Lord, "Truly distress has seized me, but Thou art the Most Merciful of those that are merciful."

    اللهم عافنى فى بدنى, اللهم عافنى فى سمعي, اللهم عافنى فى بصري
    Oh Allah, Grant Health to my body, Oh Allah
    Grant health to my hearing, Oh Allah,
    Grant health to my sight

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