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Soft Tissue Chest Tumor
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:
What is a soft tissue chest tumor (STCT)?
A STCT is a mass in the soft tissue of your chest. Muscles, tendons, fat, nerves, blood vessels, and lymph vessels make up the soft tissue in your chest. There are many types of STCTs. The tumor may be cancerous or benign (noncancerous). You may not have symptoms or you may feel a hard lump in your chest. If the tumor is large or pushing on nerves, you may have chest pain or trouble breathing.
What causes a STCT?
The cause of most STCTs is unknown. Your risk for a STCT may increase if you have had radiation therapy to your chest. You may also be at risk if you have certain inherited conditions, such as Li-Fraumeni syndrome. Exposure to certain chemicals, such as arsenic, may also increase your risk.
How is a STCT diagnosed?
Your healthcare provider will examine you. X-ray, ultrasound, CT, or MRI pictures will show where the tumor is located. You may be given contrast liquid to help the tumor show up better in pictures. Tell your healthcare provider if you have ever had an allergic reaction to contrast liquid. Do not enter the MRI room with anything metal. Metal can cause serious injury. Tell a healthcare provider if you have any metal in or on your body. Your healthcare provider will take a biopsy of the tumor. A biopsy is a sample of tissue. The sample will be sent to a lab and tested for cancer.
How is a STCT treated?
Treatment depends on whether or not your tumor is cancerous. Medicine may be prescribed to decrease your pain. Surgery may be needed to remove the tumor. If your tumor is cancerous, you may also need the following:
- Chemotherapy may be given to shrink or kill cancer cells.
- Radiation therapy uses high-energy x-ray beams to kill cancer cells.
When should I seek immediate care?
- You have trouble breathing.
When should I contact my healthcare provider?
- You have a fever.
- You have new symptoms.
- Your pain gets worse.
- You have questions or concerns about your condition or care.
Care AgreementYou have the right to help plan your care. Learn about your health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your healthcare providers to decide what care you want to receive. You always have the right to refuse treatment. The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.
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