Mediastinal large B-cell lymphoma is an rare form of non-Hodgkins Lymphoma, accounting for about one in 50 of all cases.
It is a type of Diffuse large B-cell Lymphoma and arises from a rare type of B-cell lymphocyte in the thymus gland, behind the breast bone. It can occur at any time from early adulthood to old age but is more common in younger people between 25 and 40. It is twice as common in women as in men.
The word 'mediastinal' refers to the mediastinum, which is the part of the body deep inside the chest, between the lungs and behind the breast bone. This area contains the thymus gland and many lymph nodes. In mediastinal large B-cell lymphoma the lymphoma develops in the thymus gland and the lymph nodes of the mediastinum, and these become enlarged. This can lead to symptoms of breathlessness, a cough, or pain in the chest.
Sometimes there is swelling of the tissues of the neck, arms and face due to the swollen lymph nodes pressing on the veins in the chest. This swelling is known as superior vena cava obstruction (SVCO).