Man told he has a lung cancer tumor, but when it’s removed doctors can’t believe what they find

They expected to find cancer, but what they pull out is so surprising it's going viral.

Things weren’t looking great for one 47-year-old British man who was told he had a cancerous lung tumor.

According to BMJ Case Reports, which reported this strange case, the man had been going to treatments for uncontrollable coughing and excess mucous production for about a year when he had an x-ray that revealed a scary mass in his lungs.

Doctors told the patient to expect the worst

Suspecting the mass was a cancerous tumor, Doctors did a test to further investigate the mass. According to Newsweek, they placed a tube down his throat with a light and camera on the end to see the mass.

They couldn’t believe what they saw

Rather than the cancerous tumor they expected, Doctors found a tiny plastic traffic cone like one you would find in a Playmobil set. According to Newsweek, as a child the patient regularly swallowed Playmobil objects and “recalled being given his Playmobil set for this seventh birthday and believes he aspirated the toy traffic cone soon after.”

He even recalled swallowing the traffic cone, but he didn't experience any any ill-effects for decades.

Posted by WDSU News on Thursday, September 28, 2017

That means the cone was in his lungs for about 40 years. The cone was removed and his symptoms stopped within a few months.

What do you do if your child swallows something?

Parents are usually well aware of the dangers of small choking hazards, and for good reason. Swallowing or aspirating tiny bits have huge risks, but as diligent as you are, kids are super sneaky stealers who seem to have magical powers at finding dangerous things to swallow.

Such was the case for Brian Volckmann from Tennessee. His son, Evan, was one-year-old when Volckmann noticed he had something in his mouth. After a lot of coaxing he could finally see far enough into his mouth to realize it was a one-inch nail, but he couldn’t get his son’s mouth open in time. According to, Evan swallowed the nail right in front of his Dad.

So what do you do if you are in Volckmann’s situation? According to American Family Physician, you should take your child to the doctor within 24 hours if you suspect they swallowed something sharp (like Evan), a battery or something else dangerous. If your child is vomiting, gagging, not eating or getting winded unnecessarily you should also take them to the doctor, because it is possible something they swallowed is causing the symptoms.

Amberlee L. Peterson

Amberlee is the content manager for and earned a degree in journalism. She loves her family, the outdoors, baby foxes and podcasts.