Mediastinal tumours develop in the region of the chest adjacent to the heart, lungs and spine. The mediastinum is a critical location and tumors that develop in this location pose challenges in treatment.
Structures that are contained inside the mediastinal cavity are the heart, the aorta, the esophagus, the thymus, and the trachea. Cancers in the mediastinum can develop from structures that are anatomically located inside the mediastinum or that transverse through the mediastinum during development, and also from metastases or malignancies that originate elsewhere in the body
There are several sorts of mediastinal tumors, with their causes linked to where they form within the mediastinum.
Anterior (front) mediastinum
Lymphoma - both Hodgkin’s and non-Hodgkin’s
Thymoma and thymic cyst: The majority of thymomas are benign and surrounded by a fibrous capsule. However, about 30% of those could also be more aggressive and grow through the sac into other tissue. It is one of the most common type.
Germ cell: The majority of germ cell neoplasms (60 to 70%) are benign and are found in both males and females.
Thyroid mass mediastinal: It is usually benign enlargements of the thyroid gland below the neck and into the chest.
Bronchogenic cyst : This is a benign growth with respiratory origins.
Mediastinal Lymphadenopathy: This is an enlargement of the lymph nodes.
Pericardial cyst: It is a benign growth in the pericardium- the outer layer of the heart.
Tracheal tumors: These can be either benign or malignant.
Esophageal tumors: These can be either benign or malignant
Esophageal abnormalities: These include achalasia esophageal, diverticulum, and hiatal hernia.
Vascular abnormalities: These include aortic aneurysm and aortic dissection
Posterior (back) mediastinum
Neurogenic tumors: These can be classified into nerve sheath neoplasms, ganglion cell neoplasms, or the paraganglionic cell neoplasms. Approximately 70% of neurogenic neoplasms are benign.
Lymphadenopathy: This refers to an enlargement of the lymph nodes.
Extramedullary haematopoiesis: This refers to an enlargement of the lymph nodes.
Neuroenteric cyst: It is a rare growth, involving the neural and gastrointestinal elements.
Paravertebral abnormalities: These include infectious, malignant and traumatic abnormalities of the thoracic spine.
People with mediastinal cancer may experience the subsequent symptoms or signs. Sometimes, people with mediastina cancer don't have any of those changes.
- Shortness Of Breath
- Chest Pain
- Night Sweats
- Coughing Up Blood
- Unexplained Weight Loss
- Swollen Lymph Nodes
- Respiratory blockage
- Coughing or hoarseness
Mediastinal cancers do not cause symptoms in early stages. But if you persistently have shortness of breath, coughing, or other symptoms lasting longer than two weeks, contact your doctor.
I : Macroscopically and microscopically completely encapsulated
IIA: Microscopic trans capsular invasion
IIB: Macroscopic invasion in the surrounding tissue
III: Macroscopic invasion in the neighboring organs
IVA: Pleural or pericardial dissemination
IVB: Lymphogenous or hematogenous metastasis
Your will likely conduct several tests to diagnose and evaluate mediastinal tumor, including:
- Blood Tests
- Tumor markers: Alpha feto-protein (AFP), beta HCG, LDH
- Tissue Biopsy
- Chest x-ray
- Computed tomography (CT) scan or a CT-guided biopsy of the chest.
- Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of the chest.
- Mediastinoscopy is done to obtain a sample of the tissue. It does not help with posterior or anterior mediastinum. This is an outpatient procedure under general anesthesia done through a 1-inch incision in the neck.
- Anterior mediastinotomy (Chamberlain procedure): An incision is made near the sternum
- EBUS (EndobronchialUltrasound): The tissue is obtained with a needle aspiration so only alittle amount of tissue is often obtained so often enough tissue in not obtained through with a procedure.
The causes of mediastinal cancer may be as follows:
- The tumor in the mediastinum typically depends on patient’s age.Children are more likely to develop them in the back of the mediastinum. These are often benign, or noncancerous. These tumors are typically malignant, or cancerous.
- Diet: Certain substances within the diet may increase esophageal cancer risk. For instance, there are suggestions, so far not well proven, that a diet high in processed meat may increase the prospect of developing esophageal cancer.
Surgery: Surgery forms the mainstay of treatment and the approach depends on the location.
Chemo radiation therapy: Chemo radiation therapy combines chemotherapy and radiotherapy to extend the consequences of both. Mediastinal tumors could also be treated with surgery, chemotherapy and radiation or a mixture of those options.
Mediastinal masses cannot be prevented. However, you'll improve your treatment chances by finding any tumor early.
The outlook for patients with mediastinal tumors depends on the location of the tumor. Your care giver will tailor your treatment to your sort of mediastinal tumor.