Joe's diagnosis is malignant thymoma, a cancer of the thymus. The thymus is an organ of the immune systems that sits between one's lungs in the upper central chest cavity.
This article has a lot of information about malignant thymoma.
According to an email from Thompson at the time of the diagnosis, August 18, 2011, Joe's doctor described it as"very survivable with treatment." Thompson continued "He just had another CAT scan and he begins the chemo and radiation later this afternoon. He says thymoma means he'll need surgery at the end of the treatments so the poor guy won't be feeling very well for awhile."