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Chest Cancer: Symptoms and treatment


When cancer develops in the bones, cartilage, and soft tissues that protect the organs in the chest cavity, it is chest wall cancer. The chest wall composition comprises many things. It includes skin, fat, muscles, and the thoracic skeleton. The thoracic skeleton is in the upper and middle parts of the back. It bears the shape of a cone. The upper part is narrow and the part, below is broad. The thoracic skeleton helps to protect several body organs from external injuries.


There are different types of chest wall cancer.   Those types further have many sub-divisions. The types are:


  • Benign Chest Wall Tumours: These are lesions that are not common. It develops from various blood vessels, nerves, bones, cartilage, or fat. 
  • Malignant Chest Wall Tumours: This type of chest wall tumour is rare. It needs medical treatment to help treat this condition. It occurs or develops from bones, cartilage, and soft tissues of the chest wall.
  • Non-Primary Chest Wall Tumours: They spread from other parts of the body to the chest wall.


Causes of Chest Wall Cancer

Most chest wall tumours develop without any specific or direct cause. Therefore, some admit that it develops due to inherited genetic mutation. However, others like chondrosarcoma, liposarcoma, and desmoid tumours can be associated with previous trauma to the area. Also, Chondrosarcoma is a rare type of cancer that develops in the bones. However, it may slowly occur in the soft tissues of bones sometimes. Additionally, Liposarcoma is a type of cancer that develops in the fat cells of the body. Also, Desmoid tumours are non-cancerous growths that develop in the connective tissues.


Signs and Symptoms of Chest Wall Cancer

  • Chest pain
  • Swelling in the chest
  • Muscle atrophy
  • Lump protruding from the chest
  • Impaired movement



The primary surgical treatment for chest wall cancer is chest wall resection and reconstruction. Therefore, a chest wall resection is an open-type surgery. Also, it involves dividing the breastbone. Consequently, it is carried out to remove part of or the whole of soft tissue, cartilage, and sternum/ribs.

Therefore, a chest wall reconstruction is an open-type surgery. Consequently, it helps rebuild the skeletal structure of the chest wall after the chest wall resection. Additionally,  artificial bone or titanium rib plating is used.

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