Patient Comments: Thymoma - Diagnosis


Please describe how your thymoma was diagnosed. Submit Your Comment

Comment from: Lisa, 35-44 Female (Caregiver) Published: July 05

Chest x-ray was done, no tumor was seen. CTPA (CT pulmonary angiography) to exclude pulmonary embolism showed the tumor was present in the anterior mediastinum. This was followed up by a biopsy which was unsuccessful in giving a diagnosis. This was followed by a PET scan and then a repeat biopsy. Final diagnosis was post-surgery.

Comment from: Dmmoor01 , 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: February 21

Three years ago I had a chest CT due to fatigue and shortness of breath. I was told it was normal. For all those years I was miserable and eventually developed a cough. Two chest X-rays later I was sent for another CT to the same imaging place as 3 years ago. They compared the 2 and the “normal” exam wasn’t, and the thymoma mass had grown significantly in those 3 years.

Comment from: Pauline , 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: September 25

A CT scan on my kidney showed up a 2 cm mediastinal mass, thought to be a slow growing thymoma. I have just opted to have it surgically removed, just waiting to fix a date. I have no obvious symptoms but do have Parkinson’s disease - not sure if there’s any relationship between the two.

Comment from: Lucky Man, 45-54 Male (Patient) Published: August 13

My thymoma was found, after I was in a vehicle accident, while I was given a CT scan to ensure there were no further injuries. I was then informed that they discovered a large mass in my chest. I had no prior symptoms, so I was very surprised. I had an open chest surgery to remove the tumor, which was found to be stage 1. They were able to get it all out and think I will not need further treatment, just monitoring. Feeling very fortunate.

Comment from: Cms13, 45-54 Male (Patient) Published: August 03

My thymoma was only found due to night sweats. Blood tests found slightly raised lymphocytes but were of no concern. I was given the option of a CT scan purely to rule everything out. Imagine the consultant’s surprise at finding a 13 cm tumor! Still awaiting treatment options at the moment but reading other comments is very reassuring so thanks to all.

Comment from: POM, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: July 31

I returned from a cruise with bronchitis. The next day I went to the local medical center for treatment and the doctor suggested a chest x-ray. My 3.9 cm thymoma was picked up on x-ray and I was advised to get a CT scan which confirmed the mass. I was totally asymptomatic with no symptoms. I sought out a thoracic surgeon for biopsy and a few weeks later tumor was removed. Pathology indicated stage 1 thymoma. No chemotherapy or radiation, but I have to have CT scans 2 times each year for 3 years, and thereafter once for 7 years.

Comment from: Shellie , 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: June 04

I have had severe productive coughing for nearly 3 months. Chest x-rays did not confirm pneumonia so a CT scan was suggested and thymoma was diagnosed.

Comment from: kini, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: April 19

I found out that I have a mass in my chest, which has been determined to be a thymoma which is only 2 cm. I just really don't know what to do from here. Because they say I don't have any cancer habits they are not worried about it being cancer. I don't have insurance and I am always weak, and have chest pain. They said the mass is too small to be causing me any pain but they have no idea what's causing me to have the pain in my chest, which is why I went to seek care and they ordered a CT scan and they found the mass.

Comment from: ann, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: June 24

I had surgery for cervical cancer and developed pneumonia. X-ray showed a tumor grapefruit sized (larger than my size 9 gloved fist). The thymoma was removed and was determined to be cancerous. I had 6 multi-doses of chemotherapy. I developed myasthenia gravis (diagnosed by an ENT who watched a soap opera where a character had MG). I am still alive 30 plus years later.

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.


Cancer is the result of the uncontrolled growth of abnormal cells anywhere in the body. See Answer
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.

Comment from: LAMike, 35-44 Male (Patient) Published: January 22

My thymoma was found during a chest x-ray. I had red blood cell count so they did a bone marrow biopsy to see why the low count, which lead to a chest x-ray. I had my thymoma removed surgically in October 2013. After that I had 33 doses of proton radiation.

Comment from: Narayanan, 55-64 Male (Patient) Published: December 19

I had breathing trouble and chest pain and was admitted to the hospital. On x-ray of the chest normal view and then lateral view, doctors said there is an anterior mediastinal widening and I also had bilateral pleural effusion in lungs which doctors started to tap out and was found to be hemorrhagic in nature and stopped tapping. The tapped pleural fluid sample was sent for pathology and was negative for malignancy. Then doctors suggested CT scan and diagnosed thymoma. Doctors planned for surgery but fitness was not available as platelet count was low since I was having CLD (chronic liver disease) portal hypertension. Suddenly the pleural effusion disappeared from the lungs on subsequent x-rays. Doctors, considering the risk in surgery, took a FNAC (fine-needle aspiration cytology) of the tumor and found a negative-for-malignancy result for the few cells obtained. Doctors put me in follow-up and now I am under monthly check-ups for any growth since discharge from hospital a month back. No breathing trouble as of now.

Comment from: femalepatient, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: October 14

I went to the emergency room (ER) with extreme pain in chest and shortness of breath, could not take a deep breath, it hurt. EKG and chest x-ray were normal. I was sent home, felt back to normal after 3 days. Two weeks later, extreme neck and shoulder pain woke me up, as I got up and walked around chest pain kicked in as well. I got dressed and ready for work, but ended up driving to the ER. Different hospital this time, they did EKG, chest x-ray, nothing came back. I was in excruciating pain, 4 doses of morphine and no relief. CT scan is what showed the thymoma. It was quite large too, not sure why chest x-ray was not showing it. It was 9 cm x 4 cm. My body feels like it's fighting something now, I have shortness of breath, and I’m waiting for surgery, hoping it's scheduled quickly.

Comment from: TC59, 55-64 Male (Patient) Published: September 19

Where I work there is no elevator and I had to take the stairs every day. I had noticed for a few weeks I was getting more and more short of breath. It got to the point where I would almost pass out when I got to the top of the stairs. I went to see the doctor and a mass was found in the x-ray. A CT scan and biopsy indicated thymoma. I was stage IIIB and it was removed with surgery and 22 doses of IMRT (intensity-modulated radiation therapy).

Comment from: Nilu, 45-54 Female (Caregiver) Published: March 07

My mom had thymoma removed via surgery few days ago. She had shortness of breath and tiredness for many years. Also a cough which couldn"t be treated with any medication. Chest x-ray was done to find the causes for the cough and a mass of the size of a coconut was found just underneath the breast bone. We were told it is lipoma, thymoma, or a germ cell tumor but after the surgery it was diagnosed as a thymoma and only treatment is removal, which is already done.

Comment from: cg, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: January 23

I have just been diagnosed with a thymoma. My grandmother had myasthenia gravis. I have no idea where it came from and I would like to know if it is cancer and what to do next. The heart specialist gave me a chest CT and I have heard no more. I just want to know if they are all cancer tumors. I guess not from what I am reading so I will just wait for the doctors to figure it out I guess. Depressing not to know what it is.

Comment from: Pheebe, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: February 01

My thymoma was diagnosed during a medical test I was having done. It was very big and had to be taken out.

Comment from: chris, 75 or over Male (Patient) Published: August 09

Never stop having regular checkups, even if you are released clean of the thymoma. Mine is back after 10 years, in a local spot of the other.


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