August 13, 2010, - 2:10 pm
This has to be the good news/weird news/”You Lucky Dog!”/Thank G-d! story of the week.
Ron Sveden thought he might have lung cancer and lived with that fear since Memorial Day weekend, when he arrived at Cape Cod Hospital and an x-ray detected a small dark spot resembling a tumor in his left lung. He’s a smoker who suffers from emphysema. But the “spreading mass,” examined in a biopsy, turned out to be a pea that sprouted in his chest.
Sveden’s lung was swollen and inflamed around the pea, making the problem difficult to diagnose at first, said Dr. Scott Slater, Sveden’s pulmonologist.
Though it is fairly common for bits of food to become stuck in a person’s airway, it is strange for a plant to grow in that environment, he said.
“He thought he was going to have lung cancer, and this would have been his last six months, but instead he has this new lease on life,’’ said Slater, who practices from a private office in Hyannis.
“It’s not often that things end so happy like this.’’
Pulmonary vegetation is not unheard of. Last year, doctors discovered a fig tree, measuring 5 centimeters, growing inside the lung of a 28-year-old Russian man, according to news reports.
As for Sveden, he has not lost his appetite for peas.
“One of my first meals in the hospital after the pea came out, the vegetable was peas,’’ Sveden said.
Glad for him.
What you inhale does make a difference.
Tags: cancer, Dr. Scott Slater, good news, Hyannis, lucky, lung, mass, pea, pea sprout, peas, Ron Sveden, x-ray