Thymoma - Diagnosis

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How is thymoma diagnosed?

If a thymoma is not causing symptoms, it is sometimes identified incidentally, meaning it is found on an imaging test of the chest (for example, X-ray, computerized tomography or CT scan) that is performed for another reason. If symptoms are present, chest X-rays or other imaging studies, such as CT scans or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans, are typically carried out to identify the source of the symptoms. While a mass in the anterior mediastinum can be seen on imaging studies, the definitive diagnosis can only be established when the mass is either removed surgically and examined by a pathologist or when a biopsy (surgical removal of a small portion of tissue for diagnostic purposes) is taken. Microscopic examination of the tumor tissue is necessary to confirm the diagnosis of thymoma or thymic carcinoma.

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See what others are saying

Comment from: Barbie, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: March 04

After being diagnosed with myasthenia gravis I was given a CT scan, that's when they discovered the mass of thymoma.

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Comment from: Strudel, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: August 14

Ten years ago after an x-ray for chest pain they discovered I had a calcified thymus which was benign so they decided to do nothing. Then 2 years ago I had oral thrush that would not respond to treatment, and my doctor thought there might be a link to the thymus and sent me for an x-ray and it showed that the thymoma had invaded my lungs, superior vena cava and phrenic nerve. It has since been removed and I had radiotherapy. I still have to take medication for oral thrush.

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