Lung cancer affects the circulatory system when cancerous tumors shed cells that are carried around your body through a network of arteries, organs, and glands. This is how cancerous cells relocate and grow in other parts of your body.
Your healthcare provider can determine the stage of your lung cancer. There are few treatment options once lung cancer spreads to surrounding tissues and organs through the circulatory system.
Understanding Your Body’s Circulatory System
The circulatory system (also called the cardiovascular system) transports blood, oxygen, and nutrients in and around the body. It supplies your heart, lungs, and other organs with the oxygen it needs and carries away harmful carbon dioxide.
When you have lung cancer, your circulatory system may also carry malignant cells throughout your body. That is why it is important to detect lung cancer as soon as possible so that it does not spread to other tissues or organs.
Lung Cancer Can Affect Your Entire Body
Lung cancer affects the circulatory system when cancerous cells are carried to your lymph glands, kidney, liver, and other organs. Doctors call this metastasizing. There are few cancer-fighting options once the disease has spread beyond the lungs.
Like all types of cancer, the sooner you discover that you have lung cancer, the better your chances of survival. However, lung cancer is more challenging to diagnose in its early stages because most people do not feel symptoms until later stages. Most people are not aware that they have the disease until it is too late.
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Lung Cancer Stages
Doctors can determine what stage of lung cancer you have after your initial diagnosis. This is important because you can use this information to make decisions about your treatment.
There are three factors used to determine the stage of your lung cancer, according to the American Cancer Society:
- Location of cancer cells
- Size of these cancerous cells
- If these cells have spread to other parts of the body
Your doctor can also tell you what type of lung cancer you have. Some types are more aggressive, while others are slow-growing.
Who Is Likely to Develop Lung Cancer
Anyone could develop lung cancer, but some people are more likely candidates based upon their lifestyles, jobs, and family history, according to the Mayo Clinic.
The most common risk factors for lung cancer include:
- Smoking cigarettes
- Secondhand smoke
- Breathing dangerous toxins like asbestos
- Radon exposure
It is easy to see that there are some risk factors that you can control. For example, if you currently smoke, stop smoking. Avoid being around smokers to reduce your secondhand smoke intake. You can also buy radon detectors for your home to make sure that you are not breathing in this radioactive gas.
When Your Job Is Making You Sick
Most people who develop lung cancer from asbestos are exposed to this cancer-causing element through their job.
Asbestos is the generic name for mineral fibers that are found in nature. Asbestos has iron, calcium, aluminum, sodium, and magnesium fibers that are strong and flexible, which made them ideal for many different industrial uses.
Asbestos was a popular choice in construction, shipbuilding, and automotive manufacturing. Most industries stopped using asbestos after it became known that breathing asbestos fibers contributed to lung cancer.
Jobs That May Increase Your Risk of Lung Cancer
However, some jobs still put people into direct and sustained contact with asbestos.
If you work in these jobs, you have a higher risk of developing lung cancer. You could also develop a specific type of cancer that attacks the lining of the lungs. This cancer is mesothelioma, and it is just as deadly as lung cancer.
You have a higher risk of lung cancer if you work in one of these professions:
- Automotive manufacturing and maintenance
- Disaster workers
Even office workers may be at risk for asbestos exposure if they work in a building that has asbestos in its electrical, plumbing, or insulation components.
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How a Lawyer May Help
If you worked with asbestos and were diagnosed with lung cancer, you may be entitled to compensation. A lawyer with Pintas & Mullins Law Firm can help. To learn more about how you could recover damages for medical bills, pain and suffering, and other losses, please call (800) 217-6099 to speak with a team member.