The thymic cancer survival rate has been steadily improving as researchers have learned more about how the tumors respond to treatment. For instance, when a tumor can be surgically removed, the survival rates tend to be the most favorable. Even for advanced-stage thymomas that have traditionally been more difficult to treat, surgery performed in combination with radiation therapy and/or chemotherapy has been associated with more promising outcomes and an improved quality of life. Typically, thymomas are slower growing and more responsive to treatment than thymic carcinomas. As a result, the survival rate is generally higher for patients with thymoma. However, a number of individual factors can influence a patient’s prognosis, regardless of which type of thymic cancer he or she has been diagnosed with. These factors include:
- The stage of the cancer at the time of diagnosis – In general, cancers that have not spread (or have only spread to a few local structures) have better outcomes than those that have spread to distant organs.
- The type of cells that make up the tumor – Although the cancer’s stage has a larger impact on survival rates, histology (cell types) can also be an influence.
- A patient’s age and overall health – Patients who are younger and in better health are often eligible for a wider range of therapies than older patients with other health complications, and tend to have better outcomes as a result.
When looking at survival rates, it’s important to remember that this information is based on large groups of patients who were treated five or more years ago. Not only does the data not account for the individual factors noted above, but it also does not reflect the most recent advancements in thymic cancer treatment. As such, survival rates should be considered general estimates – not accurate predictions of how long any individual patient will survive. Seeking treatment at a high-volume cancer center such as Moffitt Cancer Center is a patient’s best means of fighting thymic cancer. Moffitt’s Thoracic Oncology Program features a multispecialty team of oncologists who are focused specifically on the treatment of thymic cancer.
"Despite the formidable appearance of thymomas which are often quite large on presentation, the vast majority are surgically removable and there is a very high cure rate with aggressive treatment."- Dr. Lary Robinson.
Medically Reviewed by Dr. Lary Robinson.
To learn more about the thymic cancer survival rate and what that data means for your specific situation, make an appointment with one of Moffitt’s oncologists. You don’t need to obtain a referral from your primary physician; submit a new patient registration form online or call 1-888-663-3488.