Thymic Carcinoma

Hello everyone, 

I am new to this group and just wondered if anyone else has been given the diagnosis of Thymic Carcinoma? 

I was told it is very rare, but how rare?

I've had palliative chemotherapy, which didn't help. Then I had immunotherapy, that didn't help either. In July my consultant told me there wasn't anything else that could be done and I was being referred to the end of life care team. 

A week later I had an urgent referral to see a "guru in the field of TC," He looked at my CT scans and notes and agreed to give me a 2 week course of high dosage radiotherapy. 

Just before Christmas I had my 3 month scan (first since the radiotherapy ended) and was told that my tumour had strunk from 17.5cm to 12cm. Having had nothing but bad news since my diagnosis in December 2022, to say I was emotional is an understatement.  

Today, I have had another scan to see how things are going. The best result for me would be No Change, or even a bit more shrinkage. I know I'm living on borrowed time, and ever day is precious extention. But cancer absolutely sucks doesn't it? Your whole world is turned upside down in a heartbeat, all the plans you thought you'd have time to do, now becomes more important to achieve than ever, if at all. 

But despite all the sadness, heartache and hopelessness, I can't give in. I have to continue to fight with positively, in the hope my resilience will help me carry on a bit longer and give me more time with my amazing husband and family. I had never considered for one moment that I wouldn't be around to see my gorgeous grandchildren finish school, go to their school prom, maybe university, their first boy or girl friend, the list is endless.

So for now it's a waiting game until I get my results in 10 days time! I've never been very a very patient person, this a skill I'm having to learn!

  • Hello SailingDreams, 

    Thank you for coming here and sharing your story.  Cancer of the thymus glad is indeed rare and thymic carcinoma is an even rarer form from what I have read on our website. As you probably know, these types of cancers develop in the cells that line the thymus gland (epithelial cells). It's great that you saw this specialist in the field of TC as it looks like the radiotherapy treatment had a positive effect as your tumour shrank by nearly 5cm which is remarkable. 

    I hope that this scan you had a couple of days ago will show even further shrinkage and I am keeping everything tightly crossed for you. You write beautifully and sadly what you say is very true: cancer can turn your whole world upside down in a heartbeat. You are right not to give in and I am glad you are surrounded by an amazing husband and family. Your great resilience will hopefully pave the way for more positive scan results and I just wanted you to know you are not alone. I have to say in all the years I have been a moderator on Cancer Chat, I haven't come across many people with thymic carcinoma but I had a little look for you for past relevant threads which might be of interest to you and found for example  's thymic carcinoma thread from a few years ago. Don't hesitate to respond to this member if you would like to do so even though it is an older thread so this member may no longer be active on the forum. You may also be able to connect with others through the Thymic UK Facebook Group  and Thymic UK is another great resource you may be aware of already and they provide information and support for those affected by thymic cancers in the UK. 

    This waiting game is no fun game at all and even the most patient people in the world will easily lose their sanity waiting for such important results. We will be thinking of you in the coming days and please keep us updated if you get a chance when you find out more. In the meantime I thought I would share some helpful tips to help you cope while waiting for news

    I hope this helps a little and if you'd like to have a chat with one of our cancer nurses, they're available on 0808 800 4040, Monday - Friday between 9a.m and 5p.m. They're very helpful and will do all they can to work through any concerns you may have.

    Best wishes,

    Lucie, Cancer Chat Moderator