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Unusual Cancers of the Chest

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A biopsy of the abnormal area is usually not done because it can cause severe bleeding.

Other tests used to diagnose bronchial tumors include the following:

  • Bronchoscopy: A procedure to look inside the trachea and large airways in the lung for abnormal areas. A bronchoscope is inserted through the nose or mouth into the trachea and lungs. A bronchoscope is a thin, tube-like instrument with a light and a lens for viewing. It may also have a tool to remove tissue samples, which are checked under a microscope for signs of cancer. A contrast dye may be put through the bronchoscope to make the larynx, trachea, and airways show up clearer on x-ray film.
  • Octreotide scan: A type of radionuclide scan used to find tumors. A small amount of radioactive octreotide (a hormone that attaches to carcinoid tumors) is injected into a vein and travels through the bloodstream. The radioactive octreotide attaches to the tumor and a special camera that detects radioactivity is used to show where the tumors are in the body.

Prognosis

Bronchial cancer in children can usually be cured, even when it has spread to nearby areas. The prognosis (chance of recovery) depends on how the cells look under a microscope and the stage of the cancer.

Treatment

Treatment of bronchial tumors in children may include the following:

  • Surgery to remove the tumor. Sometimes a type of surgery called a sleeve resection is used. The lymph nodes and vessels where cancer has spread are also removed.
  • Chemotherapy or radiation therapy, for cancer that has spread to other parts of the body.

Pleuropulmonary Blastoma

Pleuropulmonary blastomas (PPBs) form in the tissue of the lung and pleura (tissue that covers the lungs and lines the inside of the chest). PPBs can also form in the organs between the lungs including the heart, aorta, and pulmonary artery, or in the diaphragm (the main breathing muscle below the lungs).

There are three stages of PPB that are described as types:

  • Type I tumors are cyst -like tumors in the lung. They are most common in children aged 2 years and younger and can usually be cured.
  • Type II tumors are cyst-like with some solid parts. These tumors sometimes spread to the brain.
  • Type III tumors are solid. These tumors often spread to the brain.

Risk Factors, Symptoms, and Diagnostic and Staging Tests

The risk of PPB is increased by the following:

  • Having a family history of any type of cancer in close relatives.
  • Having a brother or sister with PPB.
  • Having a personal history of other types of cancer.

PPB may cause any of the following signs and symptoms. Check with your child's doctor if you see any of the following problems in your child:

  • A cough that doesn't go away.
  • Trouble breathing.
  • Chest discomfort.
  • Wheezing.
  • Streaks of blood in sputum (mucus coughed up from the lungs).
  • Hoarseness.
  • Pain under the rib cage.
  • Pain, swelling, or lumps in the abdomen.
  • Loss of appetite.
  • Weight loss for no known reason.
  • Feeling very tired.
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