Hamartoma (patient information)
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Hamartoma On the Web
A hamartoma is defined as a focal growth that resembles a neoplasm but results from faulty development in an organ. They can occur anywhere in the body. They have been described in many organs but especially the chest, breast, skin and brain. They are also reported in the eye, colon and liver.
What are the symptoms of Hamartoma?
Symptoms depend upon the site of the lesion and they may present at any time from birth to middle age but usually early in life.
What causes Hamartoma?
Hamartomas result from an abnormal formation of normal tissue, although the underlying reasons for the abnormality are not fully understood. They grow along with, and at the same rate as, the organ from whose tissue they are made, and, unlike cancerous tumors, only rarely invade or compress surrounding structures significantly.
Who is at highest risk?
People with family history of a hamartomatous syndrome, such as Cowden's disease, tuberous sclerosis, and Proteus syndrome.
When to seek urgent medical care?
Ask your doctor about the risks of a biopsy versus monitoring the size of the hamartoma with regular x-rays.
Reasons for a biopsy or removing the nodule may include:
- The nodule size has grown compared to earlier x-rays.
- A CT scan suggests the lesion is malignant (cancerous).
Excision biopsy is often required for diagnosis. Hypothalamic hamartomas are usually benign but often associated with seizures which do not respond to medication and surgical removal may be required. Pulmonary hamartomas can be removed using a thorascopic approach.
Where to find medical care for Hamartoma?
Prevention of Hamartoma
There is no primary or secondary prevention for hamartoma. However, on familial syndromes early screening is recommended.
What to expect (Outlook/Prognosis)?
Hamartomas are generally benign, they can cause problems due to their location.
They may obstruct practically any organ in the body, such as the eye, the colon, etc. They are particularly likely to cause major health issues when located in the hypothalamus, spleen, kidneys or lips.
Hamartomas. http://patient.info/doctor/Hamartomas. Accessed on January, 08 2016.