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Chest Wall Tumors

The chest wall covers the chest cavity. On rare occasions, tumors develop from the bone, muscle and/or cartilage contained within the chest wall. Like all abnormal growths, these uncommon tumors may be benign or malignant. Ones that start in the chest wall are called primary tumors. Those that have spread or metastasize from cancer(s) in another part of the body are classified as secondary tumors. Primary tumors of the chest wall appear most frequently in children or younger adults. Adults, on the other hand, typically develop these growths due to lung and breast cancers or rare malignancies such as soft tissue sarcoma. Many chest wall tumors, though, are benign and form for unknown reasons.

Symptoms and Diagnosis of Chest Wall Tumors

Signs you have a chest wall tumor may include:

  • swelling in the chest area
  • a painful lump
  • impaired movement

Your physician may recommend a variety of diagnostics tests, such as:

Surgical Treatment Options for Chest Wall Tumors

Depending on their location and size, benign tumors may not require any treatment as long as they do not impair the function of vital organs. The standard of care for malignant growths is surgical removal (resection), which is sometimes followed by chemotherapy and/or radiation. NorthShore’s thoracic specialists have extensive experience performing chest wall surgery to remove these types of tumors. Members of NorthShore’s Kellogg Cancer Center team, we work closely with a variety of multidisciplinary specialists to ensure optimal surgical outcomes. For reconstructive chest wall surgery, we collaborate with our plastic surgery colleagues when necessary to carefully rebuild your chest wall and rib cage using state-of-the-art materials, including artificial bone, titanium rib plating and mesh.

For More Information

To schedule an appointment with one of our thoracic surgeons, please call 847.570.2868.