Also known as:
The mediastinum is the central part of the chest (thoracic) cavity. It contains the heart and its major blood vessels, esophagus, thymus, trachea, lymph nodes and major nerves.
Different types of masses, both benign (non-spreading or invading) and cancerous (able to spread or invade), develop in the mediastinum. Because of their location in this critical area, even benign masses can cause serious issues. The type of problem a tumor or mass may cause depends on its specific location within the mediastinum.