Man suspected of having cancer had swallowed toy cone 40-years earlier

Denny et al./BMJ Case Reports

'He recalled being given this Playmobil set for his seventh birthday and believes he aspirated the toy traffic cone soon after. "And like the doctor said, I've inhaled it because normally if you swallow, it goes down the other pipe and passes through you normally".

The British Medical Journal (BMJ) reported that the 47-year-old man remembered to have played and even inhaled the toy pieces during his childhood.

Meanwhile, Baxter told the Evening News that he plans to keep the cone as a memento and pass it onto his grandchildren. They assume that since it was inhaled into the lining of the patient's lung while he was a child, the lung continued to develop around it as he grew.

The patient had been referred to a respiratory clinic after showing symptoms of coughing and producing mucus following treatment for pneumonia.

As for the man, his breathing and lung capacity have markedly improved since the removal of the Playmobil toy.

For more than a year, he had felt ill, inexplicably coughing up phlegm.

Luckily, removing the traffic cone appears to have done the trick.

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And again in 2004 when Paul had a full body MRI scan when he had a brain abscess. I had pneumonia when I was 18 and nothing was picked up then.

He said: "I thought it was just a normal chest infection".

It may be the first reported case of a "tracheobronchial foreign body" overlooked for 40 years, The Independent reports.

The patient also had a long history of smoking, but doctors did not contribute this factor as a possible cause of the infectious symptoms, said Munavvar.

'Four months after removal of the tiny traffic cone, his productive cough had nearly entirely settled and a chest X-ray only showed minor residual consolidation'.

While there is a medical explanation for how the man's lung was able to accommodate a plastic toy for four decades, Denny does concede in the report that "a case in which the onset of symptoms occurs so long after initial aspiration is unheard of".

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