Sorry you haven't gotten some knowledgeable help yet... so I'll pitch-in. Go with what your doctor said, if the doctor doesn't see a cancer problem, I think you should draw some strength from that.
The numbers you give on your heart sound great, wish mine were as good. But then, why should mine be that good, I've got a lot more "miles" on my heart.
I think you will be alright, talk it over with your doctor.
I'm going to second what Jerry said. Don't jump to the worst possible conclusion, especially if your doctor seems to think it's too serious. Your mind can be your ally or your enemy, so it's best to keep a positive outlook, and take things day by day. I understand that heart problems, especially for a guy your age (I'm 41, and didn't really take it all that well either when I discovered I had problems with my ticker), are scary. I wanted my doctor to see me today, get to the bottom of it as his top priority, and fix me, so I could get on with my life as if nothing ever happened. Unfortunately, it doesn't quite work that way.
I will say that going through each day worrying if you have cancer that you think your doctor is ignoring or missing is no way to live your life. Do what you can to relieve your stress. Get some exercise if your doctor says that's OK. Do something you enjoy doing, and try to turn your mind off of the worry that you really can't do anything about. On the flip side, you should also take charge over the things that you can do something about. If you're losing sleep over this (I did), you could call your doctor and let him know you're really worried, and losing sleep because of it. I'm sure he will try to reassure you and maybe he'll recommend something to help you sleep. Losing sleep only complicates the anxiety. Lastly, if you feel like your doctor isn't fully addressing your concerns, than you should definitely look into getting a second opinion. For one, if it's not serious, and if your regular doctor isn't concerned it's more than likely not, it should help you to hear a second expert go over your case and come to the same conclusion. Secondly, and I'm saying this based on my own experience, is that your fear is maybe compounded by a feeling of helplessness. So empowering yourself to do what you can to get what you need done will probably also help your mind.
Hope this helps.
I also have a small pericardial effusion. This was discovered recently during a CT scan of my heart performed as part of the pre-procedural testing before I had an ablation for SVT. I was concerned and surprised, but my BOTH my cardio docs at Mayo Clinic -- one is a cardiovascular specialist and the other an EP (heart rhythm) specialist -- seemed pretty unconcerned about it. In fact, they went ahead and performed a 6.5 hour ablation procedure after the CT scan detected the effusion.
It is my understanding from speaking with my cardios and from doing some research on my own, that there are MANY reasons for pericardial effusions and that they are possibly much more common than was previously known -- they are only now learning about how common some of these smaller effusions may be because the tests available now are so incredibly sensitive and precise. Echocardiograms have come a long way in the last 20 years, and CT and MRI scans of the heart can detect things in sizes down to millimeters in some cases.
It is my understanding that generally small pericardial effusions are not a matter for great concern and may also often be temporary as they can be caused by things like dental and other infections or inflammation remaining from infections, and may even be "normal" in some people. There is a certain amount of fluid in there between the heart and the pericardial sac anyway to keep things lubricated and some people may have more of this than others. Since the sensitivity of these tests is relatively new, they are still gathering data about this. I was told that especially without symptoms, these small effusions may not mean anything at all.
The fact that your doc is not concerned about it is a good sign. My Mayo docs told me to let my local cardio know about it and have it checked every so often to see if it goes away or gets any better and to make sure it is not getting worse. Larger amounts of fluid accumulating slowly in there will usually cause symptoms that you and your doc will notice and be able to do something about while very large amounts of fluid that collect in there suddenly will cause severe symptoms that require immediate emergency care -- DON'T let that scare you because it's rare, just be aware of it so you can take good care of yourself.
I agree with LBBB that empowerment and information are crucial to good health and healing. It's natural for some people to feel very frightened about these things and I think the best thing you can do is contact your doc and tell him/her exactly and specifically what your concerns and worries are. Often they will be able to offer you the information and support you need to deal with this so you can take good care of yourself and go on about living your life. If your doc is not sensitive to your needs, doesn't answer your questions or return your calls or belittles your concerns, then by all means find another doctor! In fact, a second opinion from another cardio can often be valuable for both your physical and emotional health, so if you might want to consider that. Good luck and best wishes!
That's not the impression I got when I search the net for pericardial effusion. There were many different diverse reasons. Cardiac mets are low on the incidence chart.
Plus, for cancer to occur here it has to spread from a primary site. That's why they're called cardiac "mets", short for metastasized.
For that to occur a primary site would have to be active for a long time and you would have known about that a long time ago.
Of the few people I've known to have had cardiac mets, they all knew about their primaries years before the PE showed up.
Another issue to consider for cardiac mets is that this will cause a very large PE, not a small one. The PE was caught due to it being severely symptomatic by this stage.
So don't go talking yourself into thinking this is bigger either, that's not my point.
Bad news travels fast with the medical community, if they thought something needed further study you would have been called back in immediately. So listen to your doc, don't stress. Call up your doc to specifically tell him/her how this info makes you feel now. Let them address it with you.