Thymoma - Symptoms

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What were the signs and symptoms of thymoma experienced by you, a friend, or family member?

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What are signs and symptoms of thymoma?

Up to 50% of thymomas are asymptomatic, meaning they do not produce any symptoms or signs and are diagnosed when an imaging study is performed for another reason. In other cases, the tumor may cause symptoms related to the size of the tumor and the pressure it exerts on adjacent organs. Chest pain, shortness of breath, and cough are common symptoms when symptoms do occur. Fever, night sweats, and weight loss are less common but may occur. Some cases may spread to the lining of the lungs or heart or even to tissues outside the chest. Less than 7% of cases are accompanied by spread outside the chest cavity. Thymic carcinomas are more aggressive tumors than thymomas and are more likely to spread and to cause symptoms.

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Comment from: magpiemona, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: January 02

I did not feel well all weekend and felt short of breath. I had some shortness of breath and felt tired over the previous year after the diagnosis. The morning I went to the emergency room, I awoke, dressed and got ready for work, then left for work. I got about a 1/2 mile from my home when I felt extreme pain to my chest and was very short of breath. I turned around and when I arrived at the emergency room, I was rushed in, due to the symptoms. They ran 2 EKGs, which produced no irregularities, then did a chest x-ray. The x-ray showed a mass the size of a large orange directly behind my left chest wall. The emergency room doctor told me that it was one of two things: lymphoma or a thymoma. He told me that he thought it was the latter and that the treatment was removal. I was hospitalized for 4 days, went home for 3, then back into the hospital for the removal procedure and a 6 day hospital stay. They thought that they got it all but a microscopic part had been breached, so I had 27 treatments of radiation.

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Comment from: Blue, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: May 23

I had shortness of breath, pain in my back and left shoulder and a fairly high fever. The thymoma was found in a chest x-ray. It was removed surgically, but the pathologist found a small breach in the tumor capsule, which is why I also got 22 doses of radiation.

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