Lymphoma is a “blood” cancer that begins in the lymph nodes. Occasionally, the largest lymph nodes involved in lymphoma reside in the chest.
Lymph nodes in the chest (and elsewhere in the body) can become swollen for a variety of reasons beyond cancer, including infection. An enlarged lymph node that persists over time should be examined by a physician. Sometimes a surgical biopsy of lymph nodes in the chest may be required to accurately diagnose lymphoma and other cancers.
At NorthShore, our skilled thoracic surgeons work closely with the multidisciplinary team at the Kellogg Cancer Center as well as referring physicians in the diagnosis of lymphoma. Lymph nodes in the chest are commonly biopsied by a procedure called mediastinoscopy. This procedure involves the insertion of a mediastinoscope, a lighted, long thin tube through a small incision made at the bottom of the neck, just above the collar bone. The scope provides an inside view of your chest cavity and allows for the retrieval of a small sample of lymph node tissue for testing.
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To schedule an appointment with one of our thoracic surgeons, please call 847.570.2868.