Thymoma: Symptoms and Signs

Approved by the Cancer.Net Editorial Board, 05/2016

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.

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

People with thymoma may experience the following symptoms or signs. Sometimes, people with thymoma do not have any of these changes. Or, the cause of a symptom may be another 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, which is a low red blood cell count

  • Frequent infections

  • Fatigue

  • Dizziness

If you are concerned about any changes you experience, 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. It explains what tests may be needed to learn more about the cause of the symptoms. Or, use the menu to choose another section to continue reading this guide.