Thymoma presents with the following signs and symptoms:
A preliminary physical examination will be done to diagnose thymoma. In addition, the following procedures would be used to arrive at a definitive conclusion:
A multidisciplinary approach will be employed for treating thymoma . The major goal of treatment would be to remove the malignant tumor and take steps to avoid recurrence of the cancer. The following are the various types of method employed for treating thymoma:
The prognosis of the disease depends on the stage at which the cancer was diagnosed and age of the individual. With appropriate initiation of treatment regime, the patient can live for several years. However, the prognosis is usually bad for patients who have been diagnosed when the disease has reached advanced stage. Multivariate analysis of thymoma survival rate reaches 5 to 10 years on the average in all stages .
The most debilitating complication of thymoma is metastasis of the tumor. When the tumor spreads to other organs of the body it gives rise to various other secondary conditions. Thymoma may spread to the superior vena cava to cause obstructive signs in patients . In addition, individuals affected by thymoma also have to experience the unpleasant side effects of cancer treatment.
Thymoma is a rare occurrence and accounts for 1% of tumors that originate in the thymus. Individuals between 40 – 60 years fall easy prey to this disease; however reports document that a cancer of this type can strike individuals at any age. It has been estimated that about 15% of patients with myasthenia gravis develop thymoma.
Thymus consists of 2 types of cells, epithelial and lymphocytes. Thymoma occurs when cells originate in the epithelial cells of the organ. When these cells begin to grow in an uncontrollable fashion, a tumor is formed. In rare cases, thymoma may spread to other parts of the body. In case when it does, the pleura is affected. When the tumor develops, it precipitates into the following stages:
Thymoma cannot be prevented; however, steps can be taken to prevent the progression of the disease and its recurrence. Once the individuals receive treatment for cancer, they are advised to regularly follow up with their health care provider. Regular scans and tests should be done to determine any fresh tumor growth. This would help timely initiation of treatment and prevent the onset of complications as well.
Thymoma is a neoplasm of the epithelial cells lining the thymus. The thymus is a small organ that is located beneath the sternum. This organ is a part of the lymphatic system responsible for producing white blood cells and protecting the body against infections.
Tumor originating from the surface of the organ hampers its original functioning paving way for development of serious life threatening complications. The tumor cells of thymoma mimic normal cells and in rare cases spread to other organs.
Thymoma is a rare form of cancer originating from the surface of the thymus organ. This organ is located beneath the breastbone and plays a vital role in production of white blood cells along with the lymphatic system.
The exact cause behind the development of thymoma still remains a mystery. Researchers have documented that thymoma can occur as a result of several disease conditions such as myasthenia gravis, red cell aplasia, Cushing syndrome, dermatomyositis and systemic lupus erythematous.
Imaging studies such as CT scan, MRI and PET scan form the preliminary diagnostic procedures. These provide information about the size and location of the tumor. Following this, biopsy of the tumor is carried out to study its nature.