Most chest wall tumors have no symptoms. A small number have pain or experience fracture without or with only minor trauma.
Chest wall tumors require imaging, commonly X-rays followed by CT scan, to define the extent the cancer. Diagnosis is made by biopsy, either with a large bore needle (with a hole in the center) or surgery. Often diagnostic surgery involves removing the entire tumor, if it’s small.
Treatment depends upon diagnosis. If the tumor is clearly benign, removal depends upon symptoms. If it’s malignant, surgical removal (which often requires chest wall reconstruction), chemotherapy, radiation therapy or some combination of treatments are recommended. Treatment depends on cell type, cancer stage and involvement of adjacent vital organs.