Mediastinal Lymphoma

Mediastinal Lymphoma is a Non‐Hodgkin’s type lymphoma, a cancer that originates in the lymphatic system.  As rare as it is aggressive, Mediastinal Lymphoma accounts for only about 2 percent of all Non‐Hodgkin’s lymphomas. This particular type of cancer is believed to begin in the thymus gland, which is located behind the breast bone and just in front of and above the heart.


During childhood, the thymus helps in the production and maturation of T lymphocytes (T‐cells) that travel to lymph nodes throughout the body and help the immune system fight viruses, fungus and other types of infection. The thymus reaches a maximum weight of about one ounce during puberty, then slowly decreases in size during adulthood and is gradually replaced by fat tissue.  When the cells are changing, the thymus is most at risk for becoming cancerous.


The median age for diagnosis of Mediastinal Lymphoma is 30 years. The chance of developing Non‐Hodgkin’s Lymphoma during your lifetime is 1 in 50, or 2 percent.


Diagnosis is complicated. At present, Mediastinal Lymphoma has

· No known causes

· No genetic predisposition

· No relationship to toxic or noxious agents


As a result, diagnosis of Mediastinal Lymphoma is achieved by a thorough annual exam, including basic blood work and detailed palpation to detect swollen lymph nodes.



The Facts


Burning Flower Foundation

Julia Marie Briggs and Mediastinal Lymphoma