URL of this page: http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/thymuscancer.html

Thymus Cancer

Also called: Thymoma 

Summary

The thymus is a small organ in your upper chest, under your breastbone. Before birth and during childhood, the thymus helps the body make a type of white blood cell. These cells help protect you from infections.

Cancer of the thymus is rare. You are more likely to get it if you have other diseases such as myasthenia gravis, lupus or rheumatoid arthritis. Sometimes there are no symptoms. Other times, thymus cancer can cause

  • A cough that doesn't go away
  • Chest pain
  • Trouble breathing

Doctors use a physical exam, imaging tests, and a biopsy to diagnose thymus cancer. The most common treatment is surgery to remove the tumor. Other options include radiation therapy, chemotherapy, and hormone therapy.

NIH: National Cancer Institute

Start Here

Diagnosis/Symptoms

Treatment

Prevention/Screening

Specific Conditions

  • Thymoma (American Society of Clinical Oncology)

Related Issues

Anatomy/Physiology

Clinical Trials

Research

Dictionaries/Glossaries

Directories

Statistics

Children

Patient Handouts