There are countless living cells that make up the human body and there is a set pattern to the growth and their death to be replaced by newer ones. This is the way normal cells behave but many times these cells do not die and this leads to formation of lumps and mass when these cells start accumulating. Such mass or tumor may or may not be cancerous depending upon the type of cells they are formed with. Thymus cancer is a cancer of thymus gland which is found between the lungs in the chest region. The thymus made up of a combination of lymphocytes or immune cells and epithelial cells which are also called lining cells. It has been noted that the cancer of thymus gland usually originates from the epithelial or lining cells which form the lining of the gland. Types of thymus cancer are defined by the examining doctors by observing the cancer cells under a microscope. The World Health Organization has devised a system of differentiating between the different types of thymus cancer. This system utilizes different letters to differentiate each type of thymus cancer. The various letters used in the system proposed by WHO include Type A, AB, B1, B2, B3, and C.

Diagnosis for thymus cancer is carried out after the tumor is discovered and located by advanced imaging techniques like CT Scan and MRI. Using these images the doctors remove the tumor either completely or conduct a biopsy where a small portion of the suspected cells are removed to study them under a microscope. Complete diagnosis depends on the observations made during these tests.

Treatment for thymus cancer is carried out based on the diagnosis and may include surgery for removal of tumor. Surgery can only be performed if the cancer is localized and is not metastatic. In the metastatic condition, the cancer is spread to the adjoining organs and rest of body and can be treated with radiation therapy and chemotherapy. Radiation therapy is employed to kill cancer cells completely from the body and chemotherapy is used on specific locations for targeted results.

Summary: Types of thymus cancer depends on the location and the type of cell it originates from. It is mostly asymptomatic and advanced imaging techniques help doctors in providing the best treatment. Treatment for thymus cancer may include surgery, radiation therapy or chemotherapy depending upon the stage at which the cancer is detected.