Thymoma - Definition

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A thymoma can describe any type of benign or malignant tumor affecting the thymus. This organ is located in the upper section of the thorax, and is where certain cells produced by the bone marrow develop, notably those which are involved in the body's defense system, such as T-lymphocytes (T for thymus, distinct from lymphocytes that develop in other organs, such as B-lymphocytes). This organ is very active in a baby's development, vastly reduces in size, called involution, during the child's 2nd year. Thymomae are responsible for only a very small number of symptoms, and are mostly benign, often detected by chance during routine x-ray. It is treated surgically, by ablation of the thymus organ, called thymectomy.