Thymus cancer is a cancer of the thymus, a gland in the middle of the chest. Thymic tumors are rare and tend to grow slowly. Approximately 30 to 70 people in the Netherlands are diagnosed with Thymus cancer every year. The tumor is slightly more common in men than in women.
There are three distinctive tumor types that can develop in the thymus:
- Thymomas (the largest group, usually grow slowly and are rarely metastatic);
- Thymic carcinomas (tend to grow faster than thymomas, often metastatic);
- Thymic carcinoma (slow growth).
All patients respond very differently to the treatment options, which makes it hard to come up with a good plan beforehand. This is why it is essential to treat thymus cancer at a center of expertise. The Netherlands Cancer Institute is one of these centers. Patients throughout the country are referred to the NKI for their treatment. The multidisciplinary team of our NKI Lung Cancer Center joins together in team meetings to discuss which steps are essential and what treatment will get the best results.
Find out more about the causes and symptoms, and the most commonly used diagnostic tests and treatment types for thymic tumors on this page.