In almost half of the new cases of mediastinal tumors, there are no symptoms. The tumors go undiagnosed until the need for a chest X-ray. Depending on the size and location of the tumor, symptoms may develop due to pressure on the spinal cord, heart or heart lining (pericardium) and may include:
- Coughing with or without blood, shortness of breath and hoarseness.
- Night sweats, chills or fever.
- Wheezing or a high-pitched breathing noise.
- Unexplained weight loss and anemia.
- Swollen or tender lymph nodes.
Causes and Risk Factors
Mediastinal tumors are rare. Where tumors will develop often depends on the age of the patient. Tumors presenting in the anterior (front) part of the mediastinum tend to occur in people ages 30 to 50 years of age. Mediastinal tumors in children are more often benign.