Thymoma: Symptoms and Signs

Approved by the Cancer.Net Editorial Board, 04/2015

ON THIS PAGE: You will find out more about body changes and other things that can signal a problem that may need medical care. To see other pages, use the menu on the side of your screen.

Some people with thymoma experience symptoms, but many do not. Below is a list of common signs or symptoms that may accompany thymoma:

People with thymoma may experience the following symptoms or signs. Sometimes, people with thymoma do not show any of these symptoms. Or, these symptoms may be caused by a medical condition that is not cancer.        

  • Persistent cough

  • Shortness of breath

  • Pain or pressure in the chest

  • Muscle weakness

  • Drooping eyelids

  • Double vision

  • Arm or facial swelling

  • Difficulty swallowing

  • Anemia (low red blood cell count)

  • Frequent infections

  • Fatigue

  • Dizziness

If you are concerned about one or more of the symptoms or signs on this list, please talk with your doctor. Your doctor may ask how long and how often you have been experiencing the symptom(s), in addition to other questions. This is to help find the reason for the symptoms, called a diagnosis.

If cancer is diagnosed, relieving symptoms remains an important part of cancer care and treatment. This may also be called symptom management, palliative care, or supportive care. Be sure to talk with your health care team about symptoms you experience, including any new symptoms or a change in symptoms.

The next section in this guide is Diagnosis and it explains what tests may be needed to learn more about the cause of the symptoms. Or, use the menu on the side of your screen to choose another section to continue reading this guide.