Thymus cancer is rare and occurs in the thymus, a small organ in the front part of the chest under the breastbone. The thymus produces an immune system cell called a T-lymphocyte.
Doctors divided thymic tumors into several types, depending on where in the thymus they develop and how they progress. All thymic tumors are rare.
People with thymic tumors usually do not have symptoms until the tumor is big enough to press against air passages and blood vessels in the area of the thymus, or against the ribcage or breastbone.
Your treatment plan depends on the type and extent of your disease. You may need surgery, chemotherapy, radiation therapy, or a combination of these. Follow-up exams are an important part of treatment.
Side effects affect each person differently. Some people have none, and others may have several. Your health care team can suggest ways to ease the side effects that you experience.
Learn more about thymus cancer from the National Cancer Institute (NCI) Physician Data Query (PDQ®) for patients. It includes information about prevention, screening, and treatment.