What is Paraganglioma of the Mediastinum?
Paraganglioma of the Mediastinum or Mediastinal paraganglioma is a rare type of highly vascular (with high blood supply) tumor arising from neuroendocrine cells called chromaffin cells that are found along the aortic ganglia in the chest or mediastinum. The tumor tends to invade underlying and nearby tissues and structures, and also tends to spread to other organs of the body. Paraganglioma tumors may secrete catecholamines or may be nonfunctional, asymptomatic, and found incidentally on routine examination. Catecholamines are hormones released by nerve cells in response to stress. Some paraganglionic tumors secrete excess catecholamines, leading to headaches, high blood pressure, sweating, heart palpitations, chest pain, and anxiety.
What is Mediastinum?
The mediastinum is a space in the thorax that contains the heart, thymus gland, portions of the esophagus trachea, and other structures.
There is no well-known cause, but certain hereditary and genetic conditions may be responsible for the development of mediastinal paraganglioma. Signs and symptoms Most patients with mediastinal paraganglioma show no signs and symptoms; however, in a few cases, the patient may show the following signs and symptoms. These are
- Persistent headache
- High blood pressure
- Excessive Sweating
- Rapid heartbeat
- Pain in the chest
The following diagnostic tests and procedures can be used to make a diagnosis. These are
- CBC (complete blood count)
- Blood sugar levels
- Measurement of plasma-free metanephrines
- CT-scan, MRI, OR PET Scan of abdomen and chest
Complete surgical resection (surgical removal of the part or whole of the tumor or affected organ) of the tumor is the main treatment option. Blood pressure can be controlled before surgery by prescribing alpha-blockers, beta-blockers, calcium channel blockers, and ACE inhibitors.
What Support can we Give for Paraganglioma of the Mediastinum?
Paraganglioma of the Mediastinum is rare cancer, meaning it is not as well known as other forms of cancer. Without a Ribbon is an Australian organisation that provides support for individuals who suffer from rare cancers. So, we provide a designated platform for Warriors to obtain information specific to their Rare Cancer. We also provide annual opportunities for our Warriors to meet and learn from each other. If you suffer from rare cancer such as Paraganglioma of the Mediastinum, we can help and support you through your journey thanks to the generous donations we receive. Click the link below to sign up and become a Warrior today!
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Without a Ribbon is a charity that works hard to aid those who suffer from rare cancers. You can help our cause in a variety of ways: