What are the types of thymoma and thymic?

The three main types of thymic cancer are:
About 90 percent of tumors that develop in the thymus are thymomas. These tumors begin in the cells that line the outside of the thymus and tend to grow slowly. They rarely spread outside of the thymus, but a few thymomas are aggressive and spread to organs in the chest or the lining of the lung (the pleura).

Approximately 500 Americans are diagnosed with thymomas each year, most of them between ages 40 and 60. In many cases, the tumor is discovered during treatment for an unrelated illness. For example, the autoimmune disorder myasthenia gravis is found in a third of people with thymomas. With this illness, nerve impulses are not transmitted properly to muscles, which can result in severe muscle weakness. This often affects muscles that control eye and eyelid movement, facial expression, and swallowing.

About one in ten people with thymomas have a form of anemia known as red cell aplasia, or hypogammaglobulinemia. This deficiency of immune-fighting gamma globulins increases susceptibility to infections.
Thymic carcinoma
As many as one in ten thymic tumors are found to be thymic carcinoma. Thymic carcinomas can grow more quickly than thymomas and can sometimes spread outside the thymus.
Thymic carcinoids
Thymic carcinoids are rare and slow-growing cancers, also known as neuroendocrine tumors. Neuroendocrine tumors are most common in the digestive tract and lungs, but can also start in the thymus gland. They occur more frequently in men than in women and are more likely than thymomas to spread or recur. The rare genetic disorder multiple endocrine neoplasia (MEN) syndrome is sometimes associated with thymic carcinoids because it can prompt the parathyroid glands, pituitary gland and pancreas to produce too many hormones.
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