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Thymus Cancer

Jenna Kahn, MD and Jaroslaw T. Hepel, MD Reviewed 06/2019
 


BASICS

DESCRIPTION

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

DIAGNOSIS

HISTORY

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

  • Symptoms include fatigue, chest pain, shortness of breath, stridor, and cough.

  • Superior vena cava syndro...

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.

    • Chemothe...

ONGOING CARE

FOLLOW-UP RECOMMENDATIONS

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

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

REFERENCES

1
Okumura M, Ohta M, Tateyama H, et al. The World Health Organization histologic classification system reflects the oncologic behavior of thymoma: a clinical study of 273 patients. Cancer. ...

ADDITIONAL READING

National Comprehensive Cancer Network. Thymomas and Thymic Carcinomas: NCCN Guidelines Version 1.2017. Fort Washington, PA: National Comprehensive Cancer Network; 2017. [View Abst...

CODES

ICD10

C37 Malignant neoplasm of thymus 

ICD9

164.0 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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