What is it?

A malignant tumor, or cancer, is a condition in which cells in the body grow out of control. The term “malignant” indicates that there is a probability that the disease will spread beyond the site where it initially develops. Thymus cancer is a rare type of cancer that begins in the thymus, which is an organ in your chest that belongs to the immune system. The thymus gland produces white blood cells called T-lymphocytes.
There are two main kinds of thymus cancer: thymoma and thymic carcinoma. Thymic carcinoma is more aggressive and more difficult to treat than thymoma.
thymomas are frequently associated with the neuromuscular disorder myasthenia gravis.

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Signs & symptoms

Many times, thymus cancer does not cause any symptoms and is found incidentally during unrelated medical tests or examinations.
When symptoms do occur, they are mainly related to the size of the tumor and the compression on adjacent organs, symptoms may include:
* cough
* shortness of breath
* chest pain
* face or neck swelling
* trouble swallowing
* loss of appetite
* weight loss


A general physical exam is done to see if you have any unusual findings.
Other tests to diagnose thymus cancer may include:
* Imaging studies – chest X-ray, CT scan, MRI and PET scan - can detect a tumor in your chest and may show whether it has spread or not and whether it is resectable.
* biopsy with microscopic examination of tumor cells.


Treatment depends on the size of the tumor, how far it has spread and your general health. Your recommended treatment plan may include one or more of the following:
* Surgery: performed whenever possible to remove the tumor, thymus gland, or other diseased tissues.
* Chemotherapy
* radiation therapy
* biological therapy – medications that modulate the immune system to help the body fight cancer, or attack specific cancer cells.

☝️ This is not a substitute for professional medical advice. Please consult with your physician before making any medical decision.

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