Mediastinal large B-cell lymphoma is a type of NHL accounting for two to four percent of all lymphomas and affecting mostly young women. It is called mediastinal because the tumours grow in the middle of the chest, between the lungs and behind the breastbone in an area called the mediastinum.
People with this type of cancer usually develop a large mass in their chest and experience symptoms such as shortness of breath, cough, chest pain, and potentially a blockage of the superior vena cava (the vein that supplies blood to the heart), generating signs of vena cava syndrome.
This lymphoma is fast-growing, and treated with aggressive chemotherapy and occasionally with radiotherapy to kill any remaining tumour. It usually responds well to treatment; however, if it returns, it affects the organs of the body (extranodal sites) such as the kidneys or the CNS.