Lung nodules, also called pulmonary nodules, can result from simple lung tissue scarring caused by asbestos fiber or something much worse, such as asbestos-related lung diseases. Medical imaging, such as X-ray diagnostics, rules out more than half of all lung nodules caused by asbestos as benign, meaning they do not cause cancer.
These lung nodules usually occur as a result of a respiratory infection or other conditions such as tuberculosis or sarcoidosis. They may also result from an enlarged lymph node in the chest.
Screening for Lung Nodules and Asbestos-Related Lung Cancer
Lung nodules are small growths that form from lung tissue inside the lung. These small nodules look like coins or spots on X-rays, computerized tomography scans, and other medical imaging. They do not cause any symptoms, even though doctors often look for them when detecting signs of lung cancer.
Doctors look for these nodules and other signs of unusual growth during annual screenings, which doctors sometimes recommend for people with a history of heavy asbestos exposure. Asbestos can cause lung nodules, which may exhibit itself as lung cancer.
Screening those at high risk for developing asbestos-related cancers can greatly improve a patient’s likelihood of survival.
Whether cancerous or benign, these nodules look the same, so patients require additional testing to confirm or rule out a diagnosis of asbestos-related lung cancer if nodules appear on medical imaging.
Diagnosis and Treatment of Lung Nodules Caused by Asbestos
Doctors usually learn a patient has lung nodules possibly caused by asbestos after an annual screening given to people at high risk of lung cancer or when they are using medical imaging to look at a nearby problem.
Once your doctor discovers the nodule or nodules, they need to get a better understanding of its cause to determine if it causes cancer. They may obtain a positron emission tomography (PET) scan or perform a biopsy, especially if you have a history of asbestos exposure.
Doctors can perform biopsies of lung nodules in several ways, including:
- Fine-needle aspiration, which uses CT scans to place a needle in the chest
- Navigation bronchoscopy, which uses a long tube with a light and a camera inserted into your airway
If the biopsy tests positive for cancer, then the doctor and patient must work together to put a plan in place for treatment. If lung nodules constitute the only sign of cancer, removing only that part of the lung, called a wedge excision, may stop the spread of cancer. In more serious cases, they can remove one lobe of the lung or the entire lung. You may also need chemotherapy and radiation afterward.
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Malignant Lung Nodules Caused by Asbestos May Qualify You for an Award
If you have a history of asbestos exposure and your doctor found malignant lung nodules, you may qualify to pursue compensation. Employers and business owners have a responsibility to protect their employees and patrons from exposure to asbestos-related toxins. You may want to discuss your asbestos case with a lawyer when pursuing financial awards from a negligent party.
Many asbestos companies filed for bankruptcy protection, but they established trust funds to pay some or all of the expenses associated with having and fighting an asbestos-related illness, a Reuters special report shows.
You may be able to recover an award from one of these funds if we can prove that asbestos caused your lung nodules.
Seeking Legal Representation for an Asbestos Case
Pintas & Mullins Law Firm advocates for clients in the toughest asbestos cases. Our knowledge of building a compelling case for an award and pursuing compensation from an asbestos trust fund may help you in your asbestos case.
We handle all asbestos cases on a contingency-fee-basis, so your family will pay nothing upfront for our services. We only collect payment if we secure financial awards in your favor.
Call (800) 794-0444 today to discuss your case for free with a member of our team.