Disorders of the thymus gland

The thymus gland is an important gland that helps to produce and train the T cells to protect our body from infections and diseases. It also produces some hormones that provide a boost, training or fight along with T cells to fight diseases and infections. Scientists also believe that as this gland starts shrinking, triggering the aging process, our body becomes vulnerable to diseases and infections. If you develop any thymus gland disorders such as thymus cancer you will notice these symptoms- pain in the thymus, persistent cough, shortness of breath, or swelling in your face, neck, and arms. It is important to talk to your doctor and get treatment to avoid further complications.  

Conditions associated with the thymus gland 

Many conditions can affect your thymus gland. It can be genetic or due to some diseases, like: 

  • DiGeorge syndrome: It is a rare condition present in children from birth where the thymus gland is underdeveloped or absent. It happens due to genetic mutation. In case of an absent thymus gland, doctors treat it with a thymus tissue transplant. In the case of the underdeveloped thymus gland, the doctor suggests taking calcium and vitamin D supplements to boost the immune system until the thymus gland becomes functional.  
  • Thymic Follicular Hyperplasia: This condition happens when the thymus gland gets swollen or inflamed. This condition occurs due to autoimmune diseases such as lupus, myasthenia gravis, grave disease, Sjogren’s disease, etc.  
  • Thymic cysts: These cysts are the abnormal growth of the thymus gland which is filled with liquid. It normally does not harm you, but this cyst might transform into cancer which is dangerous.  
  • Thymectomy: It is a condition where surgeons remove the thymus gland due to certain medical conditions. If a child has some disease or is born with a genetic mutation, they are required to take out the thymus gland. In the case of cancer, they take the gland out between puberty and middle age. As the thymus gland is taken out early it makes the children vulnerable to diseases and infections. 
  • Tumor of thymus gland: Thymomas are benign tumors that grow on the outer surface of the thymus gland. It grows slowly and doesn’t usually spread beyond the thymus gland. Thymoma symptoms vary based on the location of the cancer. For example, if it happens in the lungs, then you might experience shortness of breath.  Thymic carcinoma is a malignant tumor that happens to the thymus. Although it looks like a normal thymus cell it grows faster and spreads more rapidly throughout the body. Treating thymic carcinoma is harder than thymomas. Other tumors that happen on the thymus gland include thymic lymphomas, germ cell tumors, and carcinoids.
  • Other conditions are related to thymus cancer but are not directly caused by tumors of the thymus gland, such as myasthenia gravis, hypogammaglobulinemia, and pure red cell aplasia.  

Want to learn more about thymus gland disorders, T cell types, or treatments for thymus gland cancers? At Doral Health and Wellness, we have the best endocrinologists to help you manage your condition. For more information, you can visit us at 1797 Pitkin Avenue, Brooklyn, New York, 11212, or call us on +1-347-384-5690. You can also visit our website at https://doralhw.org or contact us at info@doralhw.org if you have any queries.