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What is a Chest Wall Tumor?

Sometimes tumors arise on the chest wall, which covers the chest cavity. The chest cavity is a cage of bone and muscle that holds the lungs, heart, and other vital organs. Like all tumors, chest wall tumors may be malignant (cancerous) or benign (non-cancerous), and may originate there or have spread from elsewhere. Only about five percent of chest wall tumors are found to be cancerous. Either type of tumor may interfere with the body's functioning.

Symptoms of a Chest Wall Tumor

Symptoms of cancerous chest wall tumors may include:

  • Pain or soreness in the chest area
  • Swelling
  • Impaired movement
  • A lump or bump protruding from the chest

Benign chest wall tumors may cause:

  • A lump or bump protruding from the chest
  • Pain
  • Muscle atrophy

Causes of a Chest Wall Tumor

Although dietary and lifestyle choices as well as family history are thought to play a role in cancer development, it remains unclear what causes chest wall tumors.

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