Those who suffer from lung cancer may have to deal with debilitating symptoms of this disease. Lung cancer can cause conditions such as pleural effusion, a buildup of fluid between the outer lining of the lungs and the chest wall.
Symptoms of the damage that lung cancer does to the lungs can also include:
Shortness of Breath
Persistent breathlessness can be a debilitating symptom of lung cancer. When lung cancer grows, it can start to block the airways, which causes shortness of breath. According to the Mayo Clinic, lung cancer can also cause fluid buildup, which may make breathing difficult and laborious.
Lung cancer can cause much pain for sufferers, particularly when breathing or coughing. When lung cancer advances and spreads to distant organs and the bones, for example, a patient may experience pain in other parts of the body.
Lung cancer can cause a persistent cough that does not improve or get better. As a tumor grows, it can stimulate the nerves in the airways, causing a cough to develop. Pleural effusion, a condition caused by lung cancer, can also cause a persistent cough.
Coughing Up Blood
A worrying sign of the damage that lung cancer does to the lungs can be coughing up blood. Progressing lung cancer can cause bleeding in the airways, which can cause sufferers to cough up blood.
Advancing lung cancer can also cause a number of other symptoms and conditions, including severe fatigue, rapid weight loss, difficulty with swallowing, and others.
Types of Lung Cancer
There are two main types of lung cancer, non-small cell lung cancer and small cell lung cancer. Most of those who suffer from lung cancer, more than 80 percent, suffer from non-small cell lung cancer, according to Mayo Clinic. Most treatments that are currently available for non-small cell lung cancer fail to cure the disease. Smoking and second-hand smoke can be major risk factors for developing this type of lung cancer. However, other risk factors such as exposure to asbestos, exposure to radon, inhaling toxic substances, and genetics can all play a part in developing the disease.
While there can be different types of small cell lung cancer, it generally tends to be more aggressive and faster-growing than non-small lung cancer.
Current treatment options typically cannot cure small cell lung cancer. Risk factors for this type of lung cancer also include smoking, exposure to asbestos, and others.
Asbestos Can Cause Lung Cancer
Many of those developing lung cancer may not know why, especially if they have never smoked. While there can be many risk factors for developing lung cancer, one risk factor is exposure to asbestos earlier in life. According to the National Cancer Institute (NCI), studies have shown that asbestos causes cancer. Those who inhaled asbestos during the course of their working lives have a higher risk of developing lung cancer.
Interestingly, even a small amount of asbestos exposure can damage the lungs and potentially lead to lung cancer later in life. However, the greater the exposure, the more likely it is that a person will subsequently suffer from any adverse health effects such as lung cancer.
In some cases, it can take decades for an individual to develop cancer after coming into contact with the toxic substance. Smokers who have worked with asbestos have an even greater risk of developing any asbestos-related diseases such as lung cancer, mesothelioma, asbestosis, and others.
Survival Rates of Lung Cancer Patients
There is usually no cure for advanced lung cancer. Treatments may, however, control the spread of the disease, suppress some of the unpleasant symptoms, and help prolong the life expectancy of sufferers. Survival rates will depend on whether a patient suffers from non-small cell lung cancer or the more aggressive form of small cell lung cancer.
Generally, those with non-small cell lung cancer that has not spread have a five-year survival rate of 15 percent, according to the journal Mayo Clinic Proceedings. Once the cancer has spread to distant parts of the body, the five-year survival rate drops. Survival rates for small cell lung cancer are much less favorable, even if their cancer is localized and has not yet spread.
A Lung Cancer Lawyer Can Help
If you developed lung cancer after asbestos exposure, you could potentially receive compensation from a past employer or other responsible entity. While filing a lawsuit can seem daunting, particularly when you face a devastating lung cancer diagnosis, receiving compensation can help with medical expenses and other expenses.
Pintas & Mullins Law Firm could help you hold the appropriate parties responsible for your suffering. Call us today to determine whether you have a case. Reach us at (800) 217-6099.