Mediastinal tumor

Alternative Names

Thymoma – mediastinal; Lymphoma – mediastinal

Definition of Mediastinal tumor

Mediastinal tumors are growths that form in the middle of the chest area, which separates the lungs.

Causes, incidence, and risk factors

The mediastinum is the part of the chest that lies between the sternum and the spinal column, and between the lungs. This area contains the heart, large blood vessels, windpipe (trachea), thymus gland, and connective tissues. The mediastinum is divided into three sections:

Symptoms

Almost half of mediastinal tumors cause no symptoms and are found on a performed for another reason. Symptoms that do occur are due to pressure on (compression of) local structures and may include:

Signs and tests

A medical history and physical examination may show:

Treatment

Treatment for mediastinal tumors depends on the type of tumor.

Expectations (prognosis)

The outcome depends on the type of tumor. Different tumors respond differently to chemotherapy and radiation.

Review

David C. Dugdale, III, MD, Professor of Medicine, Division of General Medicine, Department of Medicine, University of Washington School of Medicine; James R. Mason, MD, Oncologist, Director, Blood and Marrow Transplantation Program and Stem Cell Processing Lab, Scripps Clinic, Torrey Pines, California. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc. – 9/6/2010

Lungs

ADAM Medical Encyclopedia

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