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Thymus Cancer

Jenna Kahn, M.D. and Mohammad Hissourou III, MD Reviewed 06/2022
 


BASICS

DESCRIPTION

  • The thymus gland is located in the anterior portion of the mediastinum; its function is to induce T lymphocytes. It is largest throughout adolescence and slowly regresses through adu...

DIAGNOSIS

HISTORY

  • 1/3 of patients are asymptomatic and diagnosed by incidental finding on imaging.

  • Symptoms include fatigue, chest pain, shortness of breath, stridor, phrenic nerve palsy, cough, and sym...

TREATMENT

  • Thymoma

    • Complete surgical resection is the most important therapeutic intervention.

    • Adjuvant treatment with radiation depends on extent of resection and degree of tumor invasiveness.

    • Chemothera...

ONGOING CARE

FOLLOW-UP RECOMMENDATIONS

  • Imaging with chest CT scan every 6 to 12 months for 2 years then annually for at least 10 years (4)

  • Long-term follow-up is needed because late recurrence >5 ye...

REFERENCES

1
Engels EA. Epidemiology of thymoma and associated malignancies. J Thorac Oncol. 2010;5(10Suppl4):S260–S265.
2
Eng TY, Fuller CD, Jagirdar J, et al. Thymic carcinoma: state of the art review....

CODES

ICD10

C37 Malignant neoplasm of thymus 

SNOMED

  • 94096009 Primary malignant neoplasm of thymus

  • 94632009 Secondary malignant neoplasm of thymus

CLINICAL PEARLS

  • Thymoma is an uncommon benign tumor arising in the thymus gland.

  • Thymomas grow slowly but can be locally invasive and are susceptible to pleural implants but not metastasis.

  • Surgery with...

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