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Quick Quiz: Thymoma and Thymic Carcinomas

Page 1 of 7: Thymoma and Thymic Carcinomas

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Thymoma and thymic carcinomas are rare cancers affecting the thymus, a small organ located behind the breastbone in the front part of the chest.1,2 Although the exact number is not known, the American Cancer Society estimates that less than 1 person per 1.5 million people in the United States is diagnosed with these malignancies annually (approximately 400 cases per year).1 How much do you know about thymus cancers?

The thymus is located in the chest behind the breastbone.1 Before birth and throughout childhood, this small organ is instrumental in the production and maturation of T-lymphocytes (or T-cells), which help protect the body from viruses, fungus, and other types of infection.1 Once an individual reaches puberty, the thymus begins to slowly shrink and is eventually replaced by fat.1 Thymus cancers are more frequently diagnosed in older adults.3 The 5-year relative survival rates for localized, regional, and distant thymus cancers is 92%, 77%, and 43%, respectively.1 Public awareness of thymus cancers needs to remain a priority to increase survival rates and improve patient quality of life.