What are the types of thymoma and thymic?The three main types of thymic cancer are:
ThymomaAbout 90 percent of tumors that develop in the thymus are thymomas. These tumors begin in the cells that line the outside of the thymus and tend to grow slowly. They rarely spread outside of the thymus, but a few thymomas are aggressive and spread to organs in the chest or the lining of the lung (the pleura).
Approximately 500 Americans are diagnosed with thymomas each year, most of them between ages 40 and 60. In many cases, the tumor is discovered during treatment for an unrelated illness. For example, the autoimmune disorder myasthenia gravis is found in a third of people with thymomas. With this illness, nerve impulses are not transmitted properly to muscles, which can result in severe muscle weakness. This often affects muscles that control eye and eyelid movement, facial expression, and swallowing.
About one in ten people with thymomas have a form of anemia known as red cell aplasia, or hypogammaglobulinemia. This deficiency of immune-fighting gamma globulins increases susceptibility to infections.