Thymus cancer symptoms

Thymus cancer

The thymus gland is a gland located beneath your breastbone in your chest. It’s a part of your body’s immune system’s lymphatic system. The thymus gland produces lymphocytes, which are white blood cells that assist your body fight infection.

Thymus cancer is divided into two types: thymoma and thymic carcinoma, both of which are uncommon. Cancer develops when cancer cells sprout on the thymus’s outer surface.

Thymic carcinoma is a type of thymoma that is more aggressive and difficult to cure than thymoma. Type C thymoma is another name for thymic cancer.

Myasthenia gravis, acquired pure red cell aplasia, or rheumatoid arthritis are all autoimmune diseases that people with thymoma may experience.

What are the symptoms of thymus cancer?

Tumors of the thymus may not show symptoms right away. In fact, many thymus tumors are discovered through routine chest imaging exams for other reasons.

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Thymus tumors commonly produce symptoms when they grow large enough to press on organs or blood vessels in the centre of your chest. If this occurs, the following are some of the possible symptoms:

    • A cough that does not go away or worsens over time.
    • Pain in the chest
    • Breathing problems
    • Having difficulty swallowing
    • Appetite loss or unexplained weight loss
    • Weakness or exhaustion
    • Swelling in your face and arms

  • Dizziness or lightheadedness
  • Headaches
  • Muscle deterioration
  • Hoarseness of voice
  • Drooping eyelids
  • Double vision
  • Anemia, which is a low red blood cell coun
  • Frequent infections

Paraneoplastic syndromes can arise in persons who have thymus tumors. These are cancer-related conditions. However, they are not caused by the tumor’s growth. Autoimmune disorders are common in persons who have thymus tumors. These could be the initial symptoms of a tumor. The following are some of the most common examples.

How is thymus cancer diagnosed?

A general physical exam is performed to discover whether any odd findings, such as lumps, are present. Thymus cancer is diagnosed using a variety of assays, including:

  • X-ray of the chest
  • PET scans, CT scans, and MRIs are examples of imaging tests.
  • biopsy of thymus cells with microscopic inspection

A staging system is a way of categorizing cancer according to its growth, extent, and other characteristics.

Thymus cancer is staged using the TNM staging system, which divides the disease into four stages based on tumor size (T), lymph node spread (N), and the presence of metastasis (M), or cancer spreading to other areas of the body.

Stage 1 is noninvasive, however stage 4 indicates that the cancer has progressed to other organs such as the liver and kidneys.

The degree of the disease, as indicated by its stage, as well as your overall health, determine treatment for certain tumors.

Thymus cancer treatment
Depending on the stage of the disease, there are numerous therapies for thymus cancer. A treatment plan may contain multiple types of therapy.

Surgery is the most effective technique to eliminate cancer, and it is used to remove the tumor, thymus gland, or other sick tissues whenever possible.

If the cancer is too large or has gone too far to be completely removed, your doctor may suggest using radiation to reduce the tumor first, followed by surgery. They may also choose to remove as much cancer as feasible before moving on to a different therapy strategy.

Before or after surgery, you may receive radiation or chemotherapy:

  • High-energy X-rays are used to kill cancer cells by disrupting their DNA.
  • Chemotherapy is when medications are used to kill cancer cells.

Chemotherapy medications are frequently administered intravenously (via a vein), allowing the medication to travel throughout the body and kill cancer cells that have migrated to other parts.

Hormone therapy is another option for thymus cancer treatment. Some hormones cause cancer to grow, and if your cancer has hormone receptors (places for hormones to connect), medications to prevent hormone action on cancer cells may be prescribed.

Because thymus cancer is so uncommon, you should inquire with your doctor about participating in a clinical trial. These are clinical trials in which new cancer treatments are tested.

Participants are continuously monitored and have the option to withdraw from the study at any time. Clinical trials aren’t suited for everyone, but your doctor can tell you if it’s something you should consider. Thymus cancer symptoms

After treatment

The long-term prognosis for thymus malignancies is determined by a number of factors, including your age and overall health, whether the tumor was completely removed during surgery, the type of cancer cells present, and the stage of the disease.

Following treatment, follow-up visits are required to evaluate any treatment-related adverse effects and to check that the cancer has not returned.

The possibility of the disease returning is quite real, and it can cause people concern. If you’re having emotional difficulties or feel the need to talk to someone, ask your doctor about support groups or counseling.

What Are the Risk Factors for Thymus Cancer?

A risk factor is something that increases your likelihood of contracting an illness like cancer. The risk factors for various malignancies varies. Exposure to bright sunlight, for example, is a risk factor for skin cancer. Smoking is linked to a variety of cancers, including lung cancer.

However, risk variables do not provide complete information. It is not necessary to have a known risk factor, or even numerous risk factors, to develop the condition. Furthermore, many persons who get the condition have no identified risk factors.

There are no known hereditary, environmental, or behavioral risk factors for thymoma or thymic cancer. Some studies have shown a link between exposure to radiation in the upper chest area and cancer, although this has yet to be proven. Age and ethnicity are the only recognized risk variables.


The danger of this sort of cancer increases as you become older. This cancer is uncommon in children and young adults, but it is more common in middle-aged adults and people in their 70s.


This cancer is most common in Asians and Pacific Islanders in the United States, while it is least common in Whites and Latinos. It affects African Americans more than Whites.Thymus cancer symptoms

Thymus cancer symptoms

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