Mass on the Thymus

Posted By
Debra Fahey
2/5/2011 9:44am
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Replies: 3

I was diagonosed with Mel in 2008, stage 1c, I had a WLE and no further treatment necessary. I do visit my derm every 3 months and they have found several basil cell carcimoma's which we treated and seem to be ok. I started to feel very fatigued a couple of months ago and went to the doctor in which she did blood work and everything came back fine. She then sent me for a MRI in which they found a mass on the liver which they cannot identify and are watching until march when I am supposed to have another scan. when they scanned my liver they saw a 4mm spot on my right lower lobe of the lung, sent me to a pulmonary doc and he did a baseline scan again and they found another 2mm spot on my left lung and a mass on my thymus gland. I never even heard of a thymus so I asked him about it and he said not to worry that we will just watch it and in 6 months rescan.  I left there feeling very confused so I came home and researched this and from what I gather is scarey. I think I want a second opinion and not sure of what to do at this point. I have a spot on the right and a spot on the left lung and now a mass on the thymus gland, my nerves are shot and I hate the waiting game.

I can't change the past but I can have control over my future and I don't sweat the small stuff.

lhaley - (2/5/2011 - 10:24am)

When you said these have all been baseline scans, I'm assuming you have never had scans before for them to compare these with. Many people have all sorts of "things" floating in their bodies that are benign, this could be your case!

What I would be concerned with is them waiting 6 months to rescan.  I saw on your profile that you are from Williamsburg.  UVA has excellent melanoma specialists as well as surgeons!  If you do a search on profiles for DebbieVA you will see that she goes there.  Not sure if you are going to the Naval hospital because they are close by or if your insurance is linked with the Navy. 

They are watching a spot in my lung and while larger than yours (7mm) they are rescanning in 2 months. When they looked back on my previous scans in retrospect they could see it It has been doubling in size every 3 months. Traditionally I have not shown my mets to be very aggressive and this most recent once seems to be following that pattern. However, my case is not the average.  In my opinion 6 months is just too long to wait!

Have they come up with a definitive answer to why you are feeling so fatigued?


Stage IV since 06


Debra Fahey - (2/5/2011 - 10:57am)

Thanks for replying, I am not so much concerned about the lung spots as much as I am about the mass on the thymus gland. From what I understand that it is a very hard place to get to and biopsy so I guess that's why they wait to see if any changes occur. The pulmonary doctor didn't seem to concerned and he couldn't even show me what a Thymus was. I had to go home and educate myself on the Thymus to try and get answers. I am still confused but I think I am going to talk with my primary care doctor and ask her for second opinion. When I asked the doctor the size of the mass he stated they did not list the measurements which i find odd.  I guess i question this because of my past with melanoma and when looking up the Thymus and Melanoma it can matastisise after couple of years even if you had a WLE and were clean. Have a great day!

I can't change the past but I can have control over my future and I don't sweat the small stuff.

Janner - (2/5/2011 - 11:01am)

I've never heard of stage IC for cutaneous melanoma. As for the spots in your lungs, it is VERY common to have them and not have them be anything.  If you've had any type of cough, bronchitis, pneumonia before (or even nothing) - you can develop little nodules and calcifications.  It is unlikely they are worried about them but,as a precaution, they will rescan to make sure nothing grows.  It is also common to have hematomas and cysts in the liver.  Again, nothing they are likely to be worried about but will rescan to make sure things haven't changed.  I wouldn't spend much time worrying about either.  That's one reason they don't scan early stage melanoma warriors.... because many people have these benign beasties and then you have to scan again or do other tests to rule out melanoma if you find something.  It is most likely NOT related to melanoma.

I'm sorry I can't comment on the thymus issue.  If you still have questions, I'd call the original doc again about his suspicions and ask for clarifications.  Otherwise, maybe your primary care doc can help.  It doesn't appear that the original doc is particularly worried either.  Beware what you read on the internet, however, because there may be tons of BAD stories, but that doesn't mean they are really relevant to your situation.   I would be back at the primary care doc looking for other reasons for your fatigue.   If you let this stuff get you down, it could also be adding to the fatigue issue.  You don't have something bad unless a doc says you have to treat it -- and to date, that hasn't happened with your scan issues.  Hang in there and certainly ask more questions of any doctor you can.  Make another appt with the thymus doc and bring in your list of questions and hand them to him.  Don't leave until you are satisfied.  I always recommend taking my list of questions typed out and hand them to my doc.  Then I can concentrate on the replies instead of phrasing the next question. I also make sure I don't forget a question that way.  Take a tape recorder or another person so you can revisit what was said, too.

Best wishes and hang in there,