Pleuropulmonary Blastoma - Childhood: Symptoms and Signs

This section has been reviewed and approved by the Cancer.Net Editorial Board, 10/2013

ON THIS PAGE: You will find out more about body changes and other things that can signal a problem that may need medical care. To see other pages, use the menu on the side of your screen.

Children with PPB may experience the following symptoms or signs. Sometimes, children with PPB do not show any of these symptoms. Or, these symptoms may be caused by a medical condition that is not a tumor. Because PPB is so rare, doctors often believe at first that the symptoms are caused by a common childhood illness. If you are concerned about a symptom or sign on this list, please talk with your child’s doctor.

There are two common sets of symptoms that may indicate PPB:

  • Sudden, stressful breathing may be caused by air escaping from the lung cysts into the chest cavity. This is called pneumothorax (air in the chest cavity). However, there are many other causes of pneumothorax.
  • Symptoms of PPB may be exactly the same as symptoms of pneumonia (lung/respiratory infection). These symptoms may include generally feeling unwell, cough, fever, and pain in the chest. Even when a chest x-ray (see Diagnosis) is done, it may be first interpreted as pneumonia. It is common for children with PPB to have been treated for two to three weeks for pneumonia before more tests show that they do not have an infection, but likely have a tumor in the chest.

In addition, sometimes a lung cyst or tumor may be found when a chest x-ray is taken for another reason.

Your child’s doctor will ask you questions about the symptoms your child is experiencing to help find out the cause of the problem, called a diagnosis. This may include how long the child has been experiencing the symptom(s) and how often.

If a tumor is diagnosed, relieving symptoms and side effects remains an important part of your child’s medical care and treatment. This may also be called symptom management, palliative care, or supportive care. Be sure to talk with the health care team about symptoms your child experiences, including any new symptoms or a change in symptoms.

The next section helps explain what tests and scans may be needed to learn more about the cause of the symptoms. Use the menu on the side of your screen to select Diagnosis, or you can select another section, to continue reading this guide.