Thymoma presents with the following signs and symptoms:
Entire Body System
- Hodgkin Lymphoma
If lymphocytes become cancerous, they can develop into lymphoma. Learn more about Hodgkin lymphoma and non-Hodgkin lymphoma. Rarely, another type of tumor called a carcinoid tumor can develop in the thymus. [cancer.net]
However, some lymphocytes, regardless if they reside in the lymph nodes or thymus, can develop into cancers (known as Hodgkin disease and non-Hodgkin lymphomas). [endocrineweb.com]
There was an excess occurrence of non-Hodgkin lymphoma and soft-tissue sarcoma but of no other specific cancers. [emedicine.com]
The way they metastasize is by cells sloughing off the main tumor and falling into the chest cavity. Wherever they fall, they grow, so if you can get the main tumor quickly, there is very little chance of metastasis. [cancercompass.com]
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. [symptoma.com]
Thymektomie bei einem Fall von Morbus Basedowi mit Myasthenie. Grenzgeb Med Chir 1912; 25: 746-765 15 Mulder DG. Extended transsternal thymectomy. Chest Surg Clin N Am 1996; 6: 95-105 16 Pompeo E, Nofroni I, Iavicoli N et al. [thieme-connect.com]
- Painful Cough
[…] thymoma are associated with paraneoplastic syndromes ( e.g., myasthenia gravis, immunodeficiency, pure red cell aplasia, good syndrome ) Presentation Symptoms thyomoma dependent on size horseness recurrent larygneal nerve involvement dysphagia chest pain [step2.medbullets.com]
Forty percent of patients present with local symptoms, most commonly chest pain, cough, and shortness of breath from external compression of adjacent airways. [ctsnet.org]
- Chest Pain
Abstract A 21-year-old boy presented with high grade fever, diffuse chest pain and exertional breathlessness of one month duration. Radiologically he had a large lobulated anterior mediastinal mass with necrotic thick enhancing septaes. [ncbi.nlm.nih.gov]
Thymoma Symptom Chest Pain There are many causes of chest pain. A serious form of chest pain is angina, which is a symptom of heart disease and results from inadequate oxygen supply to the heart muscle. [medicinenet.com]
A preliminary physical examination will be done to diagnose thymoma. In addition, the following procedures would be used to arrive at a definitive conclusion:
- Imaging studies such as CT scan is carried out to determine the size and the location of the tumor lesion. MRI scans are also done to measure the size of the tumor. Positron emission tomography (PET) is a method that is employed for studying the internal organs and tissues . In this method, a radioactive sugar substance is inserted into the body which is actively used by the tumor cells. With the help of the scanner, the images of those cells which have absorbed the substance can be detected.
- Biopsy is used for determining the nature of the tumor cells.
- Mediastinal Mass
We report a case of a 57-year-old male who presented an anterior mediastinal mass suspicious of thymoma by chest computed tomography. [ncbi.nlm.nih.gov]
- Anterior Mediastinal Mass
Radiologically he had a large lobulated anterior mediastinal mass with necrotic thick enhancing septaes. Histopathology of the mass was suggestive of thymoma and culture from the necrotic aspirate yielded Salmonella typhi. [ncbi.nlm.nih.gov]
- Thymus Hyperplasia
Intermediate or high titers DR7 Anti-Titin antibodies Late onset age Negative association: Thymic hyperplasia ; Thymoma DR9 Thymic hyperplasia + MG Geography: Japan & China Mild MG: Ocular symptoms DR16: MG + Thymic hyperplasia DRB1*16: Positive association [neuromuscular.wustl.edu]
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:
- Surgery is often the first line of treatment employed for removal of the tumor from the organ. When the cancer has spread to the neighboring organs, efforts are made to remove as much tumor as possible. This method is known as debulking surgery . Thoracic surgery may be performed with the use of video guided thoracoscopy for a more precise excision of the thymoma .
- Radiation therapy may be employed after surgery or along with chemotherapy. In conditions, when the size of the tumor cells is large, radiation therapy is given prior to surgery to shrink the size. Following this, the tumor can easily be removed .
- Chemotherapy .
- Coricosteroids have been sparingly used to facilitate tumor regression in some cases .
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.
- Red cell aplasia
- Systemic lupus erythematosus
- Cushing syndrome
- Inappropriate secretion of antidiuretic hormone syndrome
- Neuromuscular disorder such as myasthenia gravis 
Individuals with thymoma have been found to suffer from the above mentioned conditions. It is therefore thought that thymoma can occur as a secondary complication to these syndromes.
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:
- Stage I: The tumor is located in the organ and a capsule covers it.
- Stage II: The tumor invades the capsule and spreads to neighboring fatty tissues.
- Stage III: Cancer begins spreading to other parts of the body.
- Stage IVA: Cancer has affected the lungs.
- Stage IVB: Cancer has spread to the lymph nodes and blood vessels.
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.
- Quddus MA, Rahman MM, Ali ZI, et al. Treatment of myasthenia gravis: a surgical profile. Mymensingh Med J. Jul 2009; 18(2):203-7.
- Blumberg D, Port JL, Weksler B, Delgado R, Rosai J, Bains MS, et al. Thymoma: a multivariate analysis of factors predicting survival. Ann Thorac Surg. Oct 1995; 60(4):908-13; discussion 914.
- Konstantinov IE, Saxena P, Koniuszko M, Ghosh S, Low VH, Khor TS, et al. Superior Vena Cava Obstruction by Tumour Thrombus in Invasive Thymoma: Diagnosis and Surgical Management. Heart Lung Circ. Apr 9 2007.
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- Shin DM, Walsh GL, Komaki R, Putnam JB, Nesbitt J, Ro JY, et al. A multidisciplinary approach to therapy for unresectable malignant thymoma. Ann Intern Med. Jul 15 1998; 129(2):100-4.
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- Falkson CB, Bezjak A, Darling G, et al. The management of thymoma: a systematic review and practice guideline. J Thorac Oncol. Jul 2009; 4(7):911-9.
- Barratt S, Puthucheary ZA, Plummeridge M. Complete regression of a thymoma to glucocorticoids, commenced for palliation of symptoms. Eur J Cardiothorac Surg. Jun 2007; 31(6):1142-3.