'Tumor' turns out to be toy man had inhaled as a boy

A tiny toy traffic cone was pulled from the man's lung. Specialists at a respiratory facility in Preston, England, made the disclosure after the patient, a 47-year-old jack of all trades, was alluded to them in light of a pestering hack that had kept going over a year.

The doctors initially thought the mass that was visible in X-rays, and which was the cause of the man's chronic cough, was a tumour.

Part of a Playmobil set he got for his seventh birthday, the cone (less than a half-inch in length) had been inhaled by the youngster, then lodged in his lung, per the Guardian. "I don't remember eating them", he said, "But obviously I've had it in my mouth, and like the doctor said, I've inhaled it".

The unique case was detailed in the BMJ Case Reports journal, which explained why a toy ended up inside Baxter's lungs.

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Following the procedure, the patient told doctors that he used to play with and often swallowed tiny pieces of Playmobil as a child, as written in a report published in the British Medical Journal.

The miniature plastic cone was specifically from a Playmobil miniature toy set that the man had as a child.

"On a positive note, his symptoms improved markedly and he finally found his long lost Playmobil traffic cone in the very last place he would look", the doctors wrote.

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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"For example, during childhood it may have been absorbed into the mucosal lining of the bronchus which developed around it", they wrote.

Four months after its removal, his symptoms subsided and his cough had practically vanished.

Doctors believe that because the patient was so young, his lung may have been able to remold itself and adapt to the presence of the foreign body, according to the BBC. In case of infection, doctors may prescribe antibiotics and breathing therapy, according to an article by The New York Times.

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