Thymoma and Thymic Carcinoma: Symptoms and Signs

Approved by the Cancer.Net Editorial Board, 12/2017

ON THIS PAGE: You will find out more about body changes and other things that can signal a problem that may need medical care. Use the menu to see other pages.

Some people with these diseases 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 or thymic carcinoma may experience the following symptoms or signs. Sometimes, people with thymoma or thymic carcinoma do not have any of these changes. Or, the cause of a symptom may be a different 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 figure out 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 the 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. You may use the menu to choose a different section to read in this guide.