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Unusual Cancers of Childhood (PDQ®): Treatment - Patient Information [NCI] - Unusual Cancers of the Chest



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 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.

Other conditions that are not PPB may cause these same symptoms.

Tests to diagnose and stage PPB may include the following:

  • Physical exam and history.
  • X-ray of the chest.
  • CT scan.
  • PET scan.
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