Thymoma Cancer

A thymoma is a tumor originating from the epithelial cells of the thymus that may be benign or malignant.
Thymoma and thymic carcinoma are diseases in which malignant (cancer) cells form on the outside surface of the thymus. The thymus, a small organ that lies in the upper chest under the breastbone, is part of the lymph system. It makes white blood cells, called lymphocytes, that protect the body against infections.

What Are the Symptoms of Thymoma Cancer?

  • Chest pain,
  • shortness of breath, and
  • cough are common symptoms when symptoms do occur.
  • Fever
  • Night sweats
  • Weight loss


The exact cause of thymomas is unknown. Thymomas are equally common in men and in women and are most frequently seen in the fourth and fifth decades of life.

The thymus gland is responsible for producing T-cells and regulating a person’s immune system; researchers believe that certain immune-related conditions, such as the following, might cause abnormal cellular changes to occur in the thymus gland:

Myasthenia gravis (a condition that affects as many as 65 percent of people with thymoma)

  • Red cell aplasia
  • Hypogammaglobulinemia
  • Lupus
  • Ulcerative colitis
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Sarcoidosis


  • surgery
  • chemotherapy
  • radiation therapy


Several tests are usually required to confirm a thymoma diagnosis. Typically, imaging tests are among the first to be completed

The most common imaging tests for thymoma include:

  • X-ray
  • CT (computed tomography) scans
  • PET (positron emission tomography) scans
  • MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) scans

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