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There are several types of thymoma, which are classified by the kinds of cells that make up the tumors. To determine the specific type of thymoma a patient has, a physician will usually look at a small section of the tumor underneath a microscope. However, it can sometimes be difficult to identify the exact type of a thymoma tumor; mixed-type tumors are extremely common.
It’s important to note that thymoma types have little, if any, influence on a patient’s outcome. In that regard, the stage of the cancer is much more significant than the cell type. However, oncologists still use an appearance-based classification system to help determine whether a tumor is a true thymoma or a different type of cancer. The main types of thymoma are as follows:
- Type A thymoma, also known as medullary thymoma, spindle cell thymoma or predominantly epithelia thymoma
- Type AB thymoma, also known as mixed thymoma or small polygonal type thymoma
- Type B1 thymoma, also known as lymphocyte-rich thymoma, lymphocytic thymoma, organoid thymoma or predominantly cortical thymoma
- Type B2 thymoma, also known as cortical thymoma or mixed lymphocytic and epithelial thymoma
- Type B3 thymoma, also known as atypical thymoma, epithelial thymoma, squamoid thymoma or well-differentiated thymic carcinoma
- Metaplastic thymoma, also known as biphasic thymoma, low-grade metaplastic carcinoma or thymoma with pseudosarcomatous stroma
- Micronodular thymoma with lymphoid stroma, or micronodular thymoma with lymphoid B cell hyperplasia
At Moffitt Cancer Center, we have experience treating all types of thymoma – including those that cannot be identified as one specific type. Our team will evaluate a number of factors, including the size, type, stage and location of the tumor, then make an individualized treatment plan based on these unique details. Patients have access to therapies that offer the most promise for their specific thymoma types, as well as an enhanced quality of life.
Our oncologists can explain the various thymoma types in greater detail and help you understand what your specific cancer type truly means. You do not need a referral to schedule a visit; call 1-888-663-3488 or request an appointment online.