Cancer patient discovers 'tumor' was not a tumor at all

A man who found a lump on his lungs was relieved to find out it was actually a plastic toy traffic cone. Specialists at a respiratory facility in Preston, England, made the disclosure after the patient, a 47-year-old jack of all trades, was alluded to them in light of a pestering hack that had kept going over a year.

The British postal worker, a former smoker, had already been treated for pneumonia, but now doctors suspected it might be much worse - an X-ray had revealed a mysterious mass in one of his lungs, and it was suspected to be a possible tumour.

The man thought to seek medical help when he had a strong and annoying cough for over a year.

But during a bronchoscopy, his doctors didn't detect any signs of cancer.

Doctors concluded that Baxter inhaled the piece as a child, probably around the age of 7 when he first received the Playmobil set.

The unique case was detailed in the BMJ Case Reports journal, which explained why a toy ended up inside Baxter's lungs.

According to the British Medical Journal, the man confessed to his doctors that as a kid he would frequently swallow toys.

"On a positive note, his symptoms improved markedly and he finally found his long-lost Playmobil traffic cone in the very last place he would look", doctors said.

Four months after the cone was removed, the patient's cough had almost cleared and his other symptoms had improved.

It is not unusual for children to inhale small toys, but doctors said that this case was rare as it remained unnoticed for 40 years.

Because the man was so young when he swallowed the traffic cone, the report said, his airway may have been able to remodel and adapt to the presence of a foreign body.

The patient was given a chest X-ray which produced a frightening result.

"The doctor went in with the camera to start with, and he says 'I can see something, ' " the mail worker told the BBC, as reported by the local Manchester Evening News, "and he has little pincers on the end of his camera".

  • Santos West