Thymus cancer

You are here: 

Survival statistics for thymus cancer

Survival statistics for thymus cancer are very general estimates and must be interpreted very carefully. Because these statistics are based on the experience of groups of people, they cannot be used to predict a particular person’s chances of survival.

There are many different ways to measure and report cancer survival statistics. Your doctor can explain the statistics for thymus cancer and what they mean to you.

Net survival

Net survival represents the probability of surviving cancer in the absence of other causes of death. It is used to give an estimate of the percentage of people who will survive their cancer.

In Canada, 5-year net survival statistics for thymus cancer are included in a group called other endocrine cancers, which includes similar cancers that are grouped and reported together. This statistic does not necessarily reflect the actual survival for the individual cancers within the group.

The 5-year net survival for other endocrine cancers is 63%.This means that about 63% of people diagnosed with other endocrine cancers are will survive at least 5 years.

Survival by stage and type

Survival varies with each stage of thymus cancer and the type of cancer according to the World Health Organization (WHO) classification system. Generally, thymoma has a better survival than thymic carcinoma. Often thymic carcinoma grows quickly and is not found until it is at an advanced stage, which can make it more difficult to treat.

Statistics for thymus cancer is reported as observed survival. Observed survival is the percentage of people with a particular cancer who are alive at a certain point in time. Observed survival does not consider the cause of death, so the people who are not alive 5 years after their diagnosis could have died from cancer or from another cause. For example, a 5-year observed survival of 70% means that, on average, people have a 7 out of 10 chance of being alive 5 years.

There are no specific Canadian statistics available for the different stages and types of thymus cancer. The following information comes from a variety of sources. It includes statistics from other countries that are likely to have similar outcomes as in Canada.

Thymic carcinoma survival
Stage5-year observed survival

1 and 2

74%

3

33%

4

24%

Thymoma survival
Stage5-year observed survival

1

74%

2

73%

3

64%

4

45%

Questions about survival

Talk to your doctor about your prognosis. A prognosis depends on many factors, including:

  • your health history
  • the type of cancer and the types of cells that make up the tumour
  • the stage
  • the treatments chosen
  • how the cancer responds to treatment

Only a doctor familiar with these factors can put all of this information together with survival statistics to arrive at a prognosis.

Stories

Dr Mani Larijani Studying a cancer-causing protein in 3-D

Read more

How can you stop cancer before it starts?

It's My Life! icon

Discover how 16 factors affect your cancer risk and how you can take action with our interactive tool – It’s My Life! Presented in partnership with Desjardins.

Learn more