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If a person had a tumor in the thoracic cavity and another person had a tumor in the...
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High School Teacher
It's hard to give a simple answer to this question, because no two tumors are exactly alike; they have different growth rates and are lodged in different specific locations. If we assume that both of these hypothetical tumors have the same rate of growth, that they began at the same time, and that neither is attached to an important organ, and that both are contained and non-invasive, then we would expect the tumor in the thoracic cavity to cause symptoms first.
This is the case because the thoracic cavity, being enclosed by the rib cage and diaphragm, has limited space to accommodate the tumor; consequently as the tumor grows it will begin to press on the heart, a lung, or the diaphragm, and of which could cause symptoms. By contrast. a tumor in the abdominopelvic cavity is in a more flexible space, since the front of the cavity is enclosed by the abdominal muscles, which can stretch to accommodate normal bodily changes such as pregnancy or an increase in body fat. An abdominal tumor can get rather large without causing symptoms in some cases.
Posted by pacorz on September 23, 2012 at 3:38 PM (Answer #1)
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