Sept. 27 (UPI) -- A man in England who believed he had been experiencing symptoms of lung cancer learned he'd actually just swallowed a small plastic toy.
The Biomedical Journal Case Reports explained the 47-year-old man received a bronchoscopy to examine what appeared to be a malignant tumor, but wound up being a toy traffic cone he recalled swallowing as a child.
"Following the procedure, the patient reported that he regularly played with and even swallowed pieces of Playmobil during his childhood," the team said. "He recalled being given this Playmobil set for his seventh birthday and believes he aspirated the toy traffic cone soon after."
Doctors said that while children often inhale small toys, it was "unheard of" for the object to remain inside the body for 40 years before symptoms occurred.
"This may be because aspiration occurred at such a young age that the patient's airway was able to remodel and adapt to the presence of this foreign body," the report stated.
Medics reported the patient's cough and other symptoms mostly cleared four months after the tiny traffic cone was removed from his lung.
"On a positive note, his symptoms improved markedly and he finally found his long-lost Playmobil traffic cone in the very last place he would look," they said.