Mobile No : +91-981 863 1317

Thymus Cancer


Thymus Cancer

The thymus is an organ located just behind the central breast bone (sternum) in the front part of the chest. It is in a part of the chest known as the anteriormediastinum, the space in the chest between the lungs that also contains the heart, part of the aorta, the esophagus (the tube that connects the throat to the stomach), part of the trachea (windpipe), and many lymph nodes. The thymus sits just in front of and above the heart.

The thymus is special in that, unlike most organs, it is at its largest in children. Once you reach puberty, the thymus starts to slowly shrink and become replaced by fat. Fortunately, the thymus produces all of our T cells by the time we reach puberty.

The thymus produces and secretesthymosin, a hormone necessary for T cell development and production. It helps the body protect itself against autoimmunity, which occurs when the immune system turns against itself.

Thymus Surgical Treatment

Whenever conceivable, surgery is used to treat thymus cancers. If you have thymus cancer, one of the first things your thymus cancer surgeon in Delhi will do is to try to fathom if the cancer is totally re-sectable (removable) with operation. Imaging tests are used in this process. The most common surgery for thymus tumors is complete amputation of the thymus gland (including any tumor). This is named as thymectomy. In maximum circumstances, the surgery is done via a median sternotomy. This is an incision (cut) down the mid of the chest that splits the sternum (breast bone) and permits the entire thymus and tumor to be removed.

The doctor will also try to confiscate any zones of tumor spread outside the thymus. So, if the tumor has grown into adjoining structures, the surgeon at a thymus cancer hospital in Delhi might need to confiscate portions of those structures too. This could mean confiscating portions of the pleura (tissue coating the lung), pericardium (the sac encompassing the heart), nerves, the superior vena cava (a big vein leading to the heart) and/or lung. Conceivable complications depend on the degree of the surgical thymus cancer treatment in Delhi and your health in advance. Serious issues can consist of too much bleeding, wound infections and pneumonia.

Comprehensive surgical elimination of the tumor and the thymus gland is by far the most successful treatment for Thymoma and offers the best chance of a cure. It is usually easy to remove the entire tumor if the tumor is contained within the thymus gland (encapsulated).

Thymus gland tumors can sometimes spread to neighboring structures. However, the full extent of the tumor is frequently only determined following surgery.

The thymus gland poses unique surgical complications because of its prominent location in the upper torso and proximity to the heart. The thymus may be excised in some cases to allow unfettered access to certain heart parts during cardiac surgery.

Are you looking for a Thymus surgeon in Delhi? Our cancer care team will discuss the Best treatment for Thymus in Delhi choices with you if you’ve been diagnosed with thymus cancer. It’s critical to assess the advantages of each treatment choice against the risks and adverse effects that may occur. It’s crucial to talk to your family and treatment team about all of your treatment options and any potential side effects to make the best decision for yourself. If you don’t understand something, ask for clarification.

Thymus tumors are treated with surgery whenever possible. When you have thymus cancer, the thymus cancer Specialist in Delhi must try to figure out if the tumor is entirely resectable (removed) through surgery. In this procedure, imaging tests are used. Complete amputation of the thymus gland is the most common operation for thymus tumors (including any tumor). The procedure is known as thymectomy. In most cases, the procedure is performed by a median sternotomy. This mid-chest incision (cut) separates the sternum (breast bone) and allows the whole thymus and tumor to be extracted.

The doctor would also attempt to seize any tumor zones that have expanded the exterior of the thymus. If the tumor has spread to adjacent structures, the thymus cancer Doctor in Delhi hospital may also need to seize parts of those structures. Details of the pleura (tissue that covers the lung), pericardium (the sac that surrounds the heart), nerves, the superior vena cava (a large vein that leads to the heart), and the lung could be taken. Complications are possible depending on the extent of the surgical thymus cancer therapy in Delhi and your overall condition. Quite so much bleeding, wounds infections, and pneumonia are all serious concerns. Our hospital is among the best Thymus cancer hospital in Delhi.


Thymus cancers are uncommon.

  • Thymomas and thymic carcinomas develop from epithelial cells.
  • Lymphocytesareimmune system cells that can develop into cancers called as Hodgkin disease and non-Hodgkin lymphoma.
  • Kulchitsky cells, or neuroendocrine cells can give rise to cancers called carcinoid tumors.

All thymomas are potentially cancerous. Therefore it is best to resect it completely if possible.

The only known risk factors are age and ethnicity.

Age The risk of this type of cancer goes up with age. This type of cancer is rare in children and young adults, is seen more often in middle-aged adults, and is most common in those in their 70s.

Ethnicity In the US, this cancer most common in Asians and Pacific Islanders and least common in Whites and Latinos. It is more common in African Americans than in Whites.

These are conditions that are related to the cancer but that are not caused directly by the tumor mass.

Myasthenia Gravis:

  • This is by far the most common autoimmune disease associated with thymomas.
  • This causes severe muscle weakness.
  • People with MG tire easily.
  • They may notice problems climbing stairs or walking long distances.
  • Weakness of the eye muscles can cause blurred or double vision and drooping eyelids, while weak neck muscles can lead to problems with swallowing.
  • Weakness of the chest muscles and diaphragm can cause problems breathing and shortness of breath.

Red Cell Aplasia:

  • The body’s ability to make new red blood cells is severely reduced, occurs in about 5% of thymoma patients.
  • Reduced red blood cell production causes anemia (low red blood cell counts).
  • Symptoms of anemia can include weakness, dizziness, shortness of breath, and tiring easily.
  • The usual treatment is to remove the thymus gland.


  • The body makes low amounts of infection-fighting antibodies (also known as gamma globulins).
  • This leaves the person susceptible to infections.
  • About 5% to 10% of thymoma patients develop hypogammaglobulinemia.
  • Removing the thymus does not help correct this disease.

Other Autoimmune Diseases: Many other autoimmune diseases have also been linked to thymoma.

  • Systemic lupus erythematosus
  • Polymyositis
  • Ulcerative colitis
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Sjogren (Sjögren) syndrome
  • Sarcoidosis
  • Scleroderma

Staging is the process of finding out if and how far a cancer has spread. Treatment and prognosis chances of survival dependon the cancer’s stage. MasaokaStaging System

The Masaoka system has 4 main stages.
Stage I

The thymoma is non-invasive. That is, it has not spread into the capsule (outer layer) of the thymus.

Stage II

  • Stage IIA: The thymoma is growing into the capsule (the outer layer of tissue of the thymus).
  • Stage IIB: The tumor has grown through the capsule into the nearby fatty tissue, and may be stuck to the mediastinal pleura (the thin layer covering the space between the 2 lungs) or the pericardium (the tissue sac containing the heart).

Stage III

The thymoma is growing into nearby tissues or organs of the lower neck or upper chest area, including the pericardium, the lungs, or the main blood vessels going into or exiting from the heart (the superior vena cava and aorta).

Stage IV

  • Stage IVA: The thymoma has spread widely throughout the pleura (lining of the lungs and chest wall) and/or pericardium.
  • Stage IVB: The thymoma has spread to distant organs. The most common sites of spread are bone, the liver, and the lungs.

Because thymus cancers are not common, it is difficult to find accurate survival rates based on the stage of the cancer.

Stage of thymoma5-year observed survival rate
Stage of thymic carcinoma5-year observed survival rate
I and II74%

WHO classification system for thymomas

  • Type A: This is the rarest type of thymoma, but it seems to have the best prognosis (outlook).
  • Type AB: This type, also known as a mixed thymoma, looks like type A except that there are also areas of lymphocytes mixed in the tumor.
  • Type B1:This type looks a lot like the normal structure of the thymus. It has a lot of lymphocytes along with normal-appearing thymus cells.
  • Type B2: This type also has a lot of lymphocytes, but the thymus epithelial cells are larger with abnormal nuclei (the DNA-containing part of the cell).
  • Type B3:This type has few lymphocytes and mostly consists of thymus epithelial cells that look pretty close to normal.
  • Type C:This is the most dangerous form and is also known as thymic carcinoma. This type of thymoma has the worst prognosis (outlook).

Tumors in the thymus can press on nearby structures (blood vessels & wind pipe), causing symptoms such as:

  • Shortness of breath
  • Cough (which may bring up bloody sputum)
  • Chest pain
  • Trouble swallowing
  • Loss of appetite
  • Weight loss

The thymus is near the superior vena cava, the main blood vessel bringing blood from the head and upper body to the heart. Tumors that press on this vessel can cause symptoms of superior vena cava syndrome, which can include:

  • Swelling in the face, neck, and upper chest, sometimes with a bluish color
  • Swelling of the visible veins in this part of the body
  • Headaches
  • Feeling dizzy or light-headed

Tests are needed to confirm the diagnosis. 

Imaging tests

Imaging tests use x-rays, magnetic fields, or radioactive substances to create pictures of the inside of your body. Imaging tests may be done for a number of reasons, including to help find a suspicious area that might be cancerous, to learn how far cancer may have spread, and to help determine if treatment has been effective.

Chest x-ray

A chest x-ray may be the first imaging test a doctor orders if he or she suspects a problem in the middle of the chest. Some thymomas are small or are in certain places that may not show up on a chest x-ray.

Computed tomography (CT) Scan

CT scanner takes many detailed cross-sectional images pictures. A computer then combines these into images of slices of body that is being studied

CT scans can have several uses:

  • CT scans of the chest can spot very small tumors and help determine the exact location and extent of the tumors.
  • CT scans can be helpful in staging a cancer
  • CT scans can also be used to guide a biopsy needle precisely into a suspected tumor or metastasis,CT-guided needle biopsy.
  • During or after treatment, CT scans may be used to see whether tumors are shrinking or have recurred (come back) in other parts of the body.

Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) Scan

  • MRI scans use radio waves and strong magnets instead of x-rays.
  • MRI of the chest may be done to look more closely at thymus tumors.
  • MRI images are also particularly useful in looking for cancer that may have spread to the brain or spinal cord.

Positron emission tomography (PET) scan

  • PET scan can help give the doctor a better idea of whether an abnormal area seen on another imaging test is a tumor or not.
  • In proven cancer, this is done to see if the cancer has spread to lymph nodes or other parts of the body.

Blood Tests

  • Blood tests can’t be used to diagnose thymomas directly.
  • Blood tests may be done to look for certain antibodies (myasthenia gravis/ other autoimmune disorders).
  • Few tests can differentiate it from germ cell tumor or part of the thyroid gland.

Types Of Biopsy Procedures

  • Biopsy is rarely done because doctors can usually tell that the tumor is very likely a thymoma based on how it looks on imaging tests.
  • We often remove the entire tumor rather than do a biopsy. Most often, a needle biopsy is done.
  • A biopsy may also be done to confirm the diagnosis if the tumor can’t be removed completely with surgery. This can allow the cancer to be treated with things other than surgery like chemotherapy.

In general terms:

  • Almost all stage I and II thymoma
  • Most stage III thymoma
  • Even some stage IV thymomas are potentially resectable, but there are exceptions.

Resectability is based on whether the tumor appears to have grown into nearby tissues or spread to distant sites, as well as on whether or not a person is healthy enough to have surgery.

Resectable Cancers

  • Surgery offers the best chance for long-term survival for these patients.
  • This typically includes removal of the entire thymus and, depending on the extent of the disease, maybe parts of nearby organs or blood vessels as well.

Unresectable Cancers

  • Unresectable cancers are those that cannot be removed with surgery.
  • This group includes cancers that have spread too far to be removed completely (which includes many stage III and most stage IV cancers), as well as cancers in people who are too ill for surgery.

Recurrent thymus cancer

  • When cancer comes back after treatment it is called recurrent.
  • Recurrence can be local or distant spread to liver or bone.
  • Surgery is the mainstay treatment for thymus cancers.
  • Thymectomy is the most common surgery for thymus tumors. It is complete removal of the thymus (including any tumor).
  • Thymectomy can be done either by VATS/Open/Robotic. This depends upon the type of disease and the expertise available.
We also might have to remove any areas of tumor spread outside of the thymus. This could mean removing parts of the pleura, pericardium, nerves, the superior vena cava, and/or lung. Radiation Therapy Radiation therapy can be used:
  • For nearly all stage III and IV thymomas
  • Most thymiccarcinomas
  • Some patients who can’t have surgery are treated with radiation therapy alone (although this is not as effective as surgery).
Radiation therapy is the use of high-energy radiation in the form of x-rays or radioactive particles to kill cancer cells. In advanced disease, radiation therapy can be used to help ease (palliate) symptoms from the cancer such as shortness of breath, pain, bleeding, or trouble swallowing. Chemotherapy Several chemo drugs may be used in the treatment ofthymomas and thymic carcinomas, but aren’t curative. Thymic carcinomas are more likely to grow and spread quickly than thymomas and often require more aggressive treatment. Key Points
  • Thymoma and thymic carcinoma are syndromes in which malignant (cancer) cells form on the external surface of the thymus.
  • Thymoma is related with myasthenia gravis and other autoimmune sicknesses.
  • Signs and symptoms of thymoma and thymic carcinoma consist of a cough and chest pain.
  • Tests that inspect the thymus are used to identify thymoma or thymic carcinoma.
  • Thymoma and thymic carcinoma are generally diagnosed, staged and treated during surgical thymus treatment in Delhi.
  • Certain elements affect prognosis (probability of recovery) and treatment choices.
Thymoma and thymic carcinoma are sicknesses in which malevolent (cancer) cells form on the outside surface of the thymus. There are diverse categories of tumors of the thymus. Thymomas and thymic carcinomas are sporadic tumors of the cells that are on the external surface of the thymus. The tumor cells in a thymoma look alike to the usual cells of the thymus, grow sluggishly and seldom spread beyond the thymus. Certain factors affect prognosis (likelihood of recovery) and treatment alternatives. The probabilities of recovery and treatment choices depend on the following:
  • The phase of the cancer.
  • The kind of cancer cell.
  • Whether the tumor can be removed totally by surgery.
  • The patient’s general health.
  • Whether the cancer has just been identified or has reappeared as diagnosed by the best robotic surgeon for thymoma cancer Delhi.


  • What kind of thymic tumor do I have?
  • Has my cancer spread beyond the thymus?
  • What is the stage (extent) of my cancer, and what does that mean in my case?
  • Can the tumor be removed with surgery?
  • Are there other tests that need to be done before we can decide on treatment?
  • What treatment choices do I have? What do you recommend? Why?
  • What’s the goal of treatment?
  • What risks or side effects are there to the treatments you suggest?
  • What should I do to be ready for treatment?
  • How long will the treatments last? What will it involve? Where will it be done?
  • How will treatment affect my daily activities?
  • What are the chances my cancer will recur with these treatment plans?
  • What would we do if the treatment doesn’t work or if the cancer recurs?
  • What type of follow-up might I need after treatment?

Patient Speaks