A pea growing in a man’s lung was mistaken for cancer after his lung collapsed and he was rushed to hospital.

Ron Sveden has suffered coughing fits for months and ended up in hospital, never suspecting the pea. Docs warned him that a grainy spot on his X-ray might be cancer. But the 75-year-old said: “I was told I had a pea seed in my lung that had split and had sprouted.”

Apparently the pea had gone down the wrong way and got stuck in Sveden’s lung before sprouting to 12mm (half-an-inch) in size.

Sveden told a local TV reporter: “One of the first meals I had in the hospital after the surgery had peas for the vegetable. I laughed to myself and ate them.”

“Whether this would have gone full-term and I’d be working for the Jolly Green Giant, I don’t know. I think the thing that finally dawned on me is that it wasn’t the cancer,” he joked after the pea had been removed from his lung.