Thymoma: Causes, Symptoms and Treatment Options

Thymoma is a rare tumor that occurs in the gland called the thymus gland, which is located in the chest in the upper region of the heart and is responsible for the immune system.

Thymoma: Causes, Symptoms and Treatment Options

Thymoma: Causes, Symptoms and Treatment Options

Thymoma is a rare tumor that occurs in the gland called the thymus gland, which is located in the chest in the upper region of the heart and is responsible for the immune system. In this article, we will focus on the basic information you need to learn more about thymoma, understand its causes, and learn about treatment options.

What is Thymoma?

Thymoma is a tumor that develops in a small organ known as the thymus gland. Thymus is a gland located in the rib cage that contributes to the proper functioning of the immune system. Thymoma occurs as a result of abnormal growth of the cells in this gland, which functions after birth until the age of 2, then loses its function, shrinks over time, and remains in adulthood.

What are the causes of thymoma?

The causes of thymoma are not fully understood. However, some factors can increase the risk of thymoma:

Genetic Factors: Family history may increase the risk of thymoma.

Autoimmune Diseases: Thymoma has been associated with autoimmune diseases (the body's immune system fighting against its own tissues).

Myasthenia Gravis: An association has been found between thymoma and myasthenia gravis (a neuromuscular disease that causes muscle weakness).

What are the Symptoms of Thymoma?

Symptoms of thymoma may vary and some patients may have no symptoms at all. However, common symptoms may include:

  • chest pain
  • Shortness of breath
  • Cough
  • neck swelling
  • Tiredness
  • muscle weakness

What are Thymoma Treatment Options?

Treatment for thymoma may vary depending on the type of tumor, its size, extent of spread, and the patient's general health condition. Here are some common treatment options:

Surgical Treatment: The treatment of thymoma is surgery and it is the method with the highest treatment success. It is applied by completely removing the tumor and surrounding fatty tissues. It can be done robotically, with closed methods such as VATS, or openly, through an incision commonly used in heart surgery called sternotomy.

Radiation Therapy: Radiotherapy can help shrink or control a thymoma tumor.

Chemotherapy: Chemotherapy can slow or control the growth of thymoma.

Medication: If you have thymoma with associated conditions such as myasthenia gravis, medications can relieve myasthenia symptoms.

Thymoma is a rare type of tumor and can be unique for each patient. Early diagnosis and appropriate treatment can positively affect the prognosis. If you are experiencing symptoms of thymoma or are concerned about it, you should contact a healthcare professional. Diagnosis and treatment of thymoma requires professional medical advice and each individual's situation is different.