Thymus Cancer

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Talking With Your Doctor TOPICS

What should you ask your doctor about thymus cancer?

It’s important to have frank, open discussions with your cancer care team. They want to answer all of your questions, no matter how minor they might seem. For instance, consider these questions:

  • What kind of thymic tumor do I have?
  • Has my cancer spread beyond the thymus?
  • What is the stage (extent) of my cancer, and what does that mean in my case?
  • Can the tumor be removed with surgery (is it likely to be resectable)?
  • Are there other tests that need to be done before we can decide on treatment?
  • How much experience do you have treating this type of cancer?
  • Should I get a second opinion?
  • What treatment choices do I have? What do you recommend? Why?
  • What’s the goal of treatment?
  • What risks or side effects are there to the treatments you suggest?
  • What should I do to be ready for treatment?
  • How long will treatment last? What will it involve? Where will it be done?
  • How will treatment affect my daily activities?
  • What are the chances my cancer will recur (come back) with these treatment plans?
  • What would we do if the treatment doesn’t work or if the cancer recurs?
  • What type of follow-up might I need after treatment?

In addition to these questions, be sure to write down some of your own. For instance, you might want more information about recovery times so you can plan your work schedule. Or you may want to ask about clinical trials for which you may qualify.

Keep in mind, too, that doctors are not the only ones who can give you information. Other health care professionals, such as nurses and social workers, may have the answers to your questions. You can find more information about communicating with your health care team in our document Talking With Your Doctor.


Last Medical Review: 02/07/2014
Last Revised: 02/11/2014