Understanding the Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment of Thymoma
Thymoma is a rare form of cancer that affects the thymus gland in the chest. This type of cancer is relatively uncommon, so very few hard stats exist on how many people are affected. According to the National Cancer Institute, about 2,000 cases are diagnosed annually in the US.
Causes Of Thymoma
The exact cause of thymomas is not known, but a variety of factors are thought to potentially increase the risk of developing the condition. Some of these include smoking, infection, radiation exposure, chemotherapy, and certain genetic conditions.
Signs and Symptoms Of Thymoma
In the early stages of thymoma development, there may be few, if any, symptoms. However, as the tumor grows, patients may experience chest pain, shortness of breath, cough, fever, and wheezing. They may also notice a fullness in the chest area and or hoarseness or difficulty swallowing. Some people may experience difficulty with their vision properly.
Diagnosis Of Thymoma
Thymoma is typically diagnosed through imaging tests such as a CT or MRI scan. A biopsy may also be used to provide a definitive answer about the presence of the cancer.
Treatment Options for Thymoma and Health
The standard treatment for thymoma is surgical removal of the tumor. Depending on the size and extent of the tumor, radiation or chemotherapy may be used as well. In some cases, medications may be prescribed to regulate the immune system.
Thymoma: A Rare and Treatable Disease
Although thymoma is a rare form of cancer, the good news is that it is often treatable and the prognosis is usually good. If caught early, the survival rate is excellent, and with early detection and proper treatment, patients have a very good chance of returning to their normal activities. If you have any of the signs or symptoms described here, it’s important to speak to your doctor as soon as possible to get the best possible outcome.