Asbestos is closely linked to mesothelioma, a type of lung cancer caused by asbestos that affects the lining of the lungs. In addition, asbestos exposure can cause any type of lung cancer, especially if the person had a high level of asbestos exposure and also smoked.
This includes non-small cell lung cancer, a type of lung cancer that is caused by asbestos, small cell lung cancer, and asbestosis.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), as many as 25% of people who were exposed to high levels of asbestos at work will develop respiratory conditions such as lung cancer or bronchogenic carcinomas related to asbestos toxicity.
The intensity of their asbestos exposure, how often they were exposed, and how long they were exposed play a role in determining their asbestos and cancer risk to each individual. Each individuals’ risk increases as time passes from the date of their initial asbestos exposure.
Understanding How Asbestos Causes Lung Cancer
When a person inhales asbestos fibers, these fibers can become lodged in the lungs, either in the lining of the lungs (the mesothelium) or in the lung tissue itself. This causes irritation and scarring. As time passes, this can affect nearby cells, and those cells can develop malignancies. These tumors can cause mesothelioma, a type of lung cancer caused by asbestos, when present in the mesothelium. The tumors can also cause lung cancer when in other lung tissue.
Asbestos is a major risk factor for lung cancer. Between 4% and 12% of all lung cancers are related to workplace exposure or other high-level exposure to asbestos fibers, according to the CDC. Asbestos increases the risk of developing all major types of carcinoma that affects the lungs, including adenocarcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma, and small-cell carcinoma.
Additional Risk Factors for Asbestos Lung Cancer
When a worker exposed to asbestos also uses tobacco products, their risk of developing any type of lung cancer increases. Some of the fields in which workers frequently came into contact with asbestos include the shipping, construction, and demolition industries.
Treating Asbestos-Related Lung Cancer
Asbestos-related lung cancers are difficult to diagnose early and may not show symptoms until the cancer has advanced. When possible, doctors often try to remove the cancer with surgery. Options may include:
- Pneumonectomy to remove the affected lung
- Lobectomy to remove a lobe of one lung
- Wedge section to remove the cancerous part and margins around it
After surgery, your doctor may prescribe chemotherapy and radiation. In cases when the cancer has spread to the lymph nodes and other areas beyond the immediate area around the lungs, doctors may consider clinical trials.
According to American Family Physician, 2,000 people die every year from asbestos-related lung disease. This is an estimate because it is often difficult to know if lung cancer occurred as a result of asbestos exposure or other risk factors such as smoking.
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Building a Strong Case for an Award or Settlement Based on Your Asbestos Cancer Diagnosis
If you or a loved one has a diagnosis of asbestos-related lung cancer, you may be able to pursue compensation. This award could cover damages that include:
- Cost of medical care
- Losses related to your treatment or illness
- Pain and suffering
- Lost wages
- Reduced earning capacity
You should not have to pay for your treatment and suffer related monetary losses because of an illness you acquired by doing your job. The manufacturer of the asbestos that caused your cancer should pay, not you. Unfortunately, many of these companies no longer exist.
Mass torts filed against asbestos manufacturers pushed many of them into bankruptcy, leading to the establishment of asbestos trust funds for victims who develop lung cancer, mesothelioma, or other respiratory conditions.
Mass torts filed against asbestos manufacturers pushed many of them into bankruptcy, leading to the establishment of asbestos trust funds for victims who developed thoracic sarcoma, a type of lung cancer that is caused by asbestos or other asbestos-related lung cancers.
You may be able to take legal action if you can show that your cancer diagnosis is linked to asbestos exposure.
Talk to a Lawyer About Your Asbestos-Related Lung Cancer Diagnosis
At Pintas & Mullins Law Firm, we know how to pursue awards through legal action or filing a claim with an asbestos trust fund. We can help you document your damages and explain how the process works. Even if you have a tough case, we will not shy away.
Our team does not ask for any money up front, and you will never pay us anything out of your pocket. Our law firm only takes attorney’s fees from settlement or awards checks we received on behalf of our clients. If we do not reach a settlement in your case, we do not get paid.
Call (800) 794-0444 to discuss your case with a member of our asbestos cancer team today for free. We offer complimentary case reviews and initial consultations.