en Arabic

All About Mediastinal Tumours

all about mediatinal tumours

Mediastinal Tumour Quick Facts:

  • Mediastinal Tumour types: Thymomas, lymphomas, germ cell tumours, cysts, and more
  • Located in the mediastinum, the space between the lungs
  • Typically benign (noncancerous), but can be malignant (cancerous)
  • Common treatment: Surgery

What is a Mediastinal Tumour?

Mediastinal tumours are uncommon tumours that develop in the mediastinum. These tumours can be benign (not cancerous) or malignant (cause cancer).

Understanding the area: Mediastinum

The mediastinum is the space between the breastbone and the spine in the middle of the chest that separates the lungs. Your heart, swallowing tube (oesophagus), and windpipe (trachea) are all housed in the mediastinum.

Mediastinal tumours can appear in three places:

Anterior Mediastinum

  • Lymphoma, including Hodgkin’s disease and non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, can cause anterior tumours.
  • Thyroid mass in the mediastinum. This is usually harmless, but it can be cancerous.
  • Thymoma and thymic cysts are tumours of the thymus, which is a primary lymphoid organ of the immune system.

Middle Mediastinum

  • Bronchogenic cysts, which are abnormal tissue growths that begin in the respiratory system, can cause middle — tumours.
  • Pericardial cysts, also known as clear water cysts, are benign growths that form on the heart’s lining.
  • Tracheal (windpipe) tumours are usually harmless growths.
  • Increased lymph node size
  • Complications of the vascular system, such as aortic swelling.

Posterior Mediastinum

  • Extramedullary haematopoiesis (EH) is a type of bone marrow growth.
  • Lymphadenopathy mediastinal refers to enlarged lymph nodes in the abdomen.
  • Neurogenic tumours are cancerous tumours that develop from nervous system cells.
  • Cystic mediastinal masses are characterized by nerve and gastrointestinal system growth.

Mediastinal tumours, while uncommon, can be fatal. These tumours have the potential to grow and put pressure on the heart, lungs, oesophagus, windpipe, and spine.

What is Mediastinal Lymphoma in the anterior mediastinum?

Mediastinal Lymphoma is a type of cancer that develops in cancer-fighting cells known as lymphocytes. These growths typically begin in the lymph nodes, spleen, or bone marrow. Lymphoma rarely begins in the anterior mediastinum. Lymphoma is classified into two types: Hodgkin’s disease and non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.

  • Hodgkin’s disease – It is characterized by the presence of Reed-Sternberg cells, large abnormal cells that typically start in a single lymph node or a group of lymph nodes and can spread systematically.
  • Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma- A more diverse group of lymphomas that do not include Reed-Sternberg cells. It can start in various locations throughout the lymphatic system, making it more challenging to classify and treat than Hodgkin’s lymphoma.

What are the causes of mediastinal tumours?

The mediastinal tumour causes differ depending on where they are located.

Anterior Mediastinal tumours:

  • Lymphoma, including both Hodgkin’s and non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma
  • Thyroid enlargement
  • Thymus tumour – the thymus gland is located at the top of the chest.

Middle Mediastinal tumours:

These tumours can also be a result of cysts in the respiratory system:

  • Cyst on the lining of the heart
  • Lymph node swelling
  • Windpipe expansion
  • Thyroid enlargement
  • Posterior Mediastinal tumours:
  • Bone marrow tumours
  • Nerve cells that are cancerous
  • Lymph node swelling
  • Growth that affects both the nerves and the digestive system.

What are the symptoms of mediastinal tumour?

Mediastinal tumours are uncommon in general. They affect people between the ages of 30 and 50. However, tumours in children are most commonly found in the posterior (back) mediastinum, where they arise from nerves. These mediastinal tumours are usually not cancerous.

Mediastinal tumour symptoms can vary from person to person. The majority are discovered during a routine chest x-ray, and the following are some of the mediastinal mass symptoms that may occur as a result of pressure on (compression of) local structures:

  • Cough
  • Breathing difficulty
  • Wheezing
  • Chest discomfort or fullness
  • Fever and chills
  • Sweating at night
  • Hoarseness from coughing up blood
  • Weight reduction


Our thoracic specialist may order tests to confirm the diagnosis of a mediastinal tumour, such as:

  • X-rays of the chest
  • A chest computed tomography (CT) scan or a CT-guided biopsy
  • Chest magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)

A mediastinoscopy is a surgical procedure that includes a tissue biopsy. Through a small incision in the chest, a mediastinoscope is inserted into the mediastinum. A camera on the end of the scope provides your doctor with a clear view of the area. Tissue may be removed for a biopsy to look for signs of cancer in the cells.


Surgery or a combination of other radiation treatments may be used to treat mediastinal tumours. The treatment will be determined by the type of tumour, its location, and the patient’s overall health. Thymic cancers, for example, always necessitate surgery, followed by chemotherapy and radiation, whereas lymphomas typically necessitate chemotherapy, followed by radiation.

Mediastinal Mass Surgery

Some common types of surgeries for mediastinal masses include:

  • Mediastinoscopy: A minimally invasive procedure that involves making a small incision in the neck to examine and biopsy lymph nodes and masses in the mediastinum.
  • Thoracotomy: This is a major surgical procedure that involves making an incision in the chest to access and remove mediastinal masses. It is often used for larger or more complex masses.
  • Video-Assisted Thoracoscopic Surgery (VATS): A minimally invasive alternative to thoracotomy, where small incisions and a camera are used to access and remove mediastinal masses.
  • Sternotomy: Involves making an incision in the breastbone (sternum) to access the mediastinum, often used for specific cases.
  • Mediastinal Mass Resection: Surgical removal of the mass from the mediastinum, which may involve the use of any of the above techniques.

Seek precise Mediastinal Tumour treatment at Dr Taj Chowdhry’s

Dr Taj Chowdhry’s specialised approach to treating mediastinal tumours provides patients with the highest level of care and precision. With extensive experience and knowledge in this field, he ensures that each patient receives a personalised treatment plan tailored to their specific needs. By utilising cutting-edge technology and surgical techniques, Dr Taj is dedicated to helping his patients achieve positive outcomes and improve their quality of life.

If you or a loved one is facing a mediastinal tumour diagnosis, consider seeking treatment from Dr Taj Chowdhry for the best possible results.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *